Projects completed and projects starting and projects continuing. A brief February update:
Had a fun time with playwright Peter Sinn Nachtrieb and director Ken Prestininzi creating the world premiere of Peter’s THE TOTALITARIANS – now running at Southern Rep in New Orleans.
And that was on the smoking heels of Lisa D’Amour’s world premiere, CHEROKEE, now up at the wonderful Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia – directed by Anne Kaufmann, and awesome set by Mimi Lien and lights by Drew Billau!
If you’re in either of these towns, go see – go see!
And now I turn my attentions to MILTON, with the inimitable PearlDamour.
This November, I had the absurd privilege of staying at the Bellagio/Rockefeller residency in northern Italy. Hard to even sum up what an incredible experience it was – from the location to the amazing people – it was a really profound experience.
Continuing on my field recording compositions/thoughts (a set of which are currently installed at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans) I, well, made a lot of field recordings.
The processing of making these pieces (and perhaps the history of Field Recording Compositions) has always involved an internal discussion about DOING something to the recorded sound – DO I have to do anything for it to be a composition? When I start to DO something to the recording (processing, layer, edit, extract), at what point does the content/meaning of the recording dissolve and it is less about OBSERVING the world itslef, and more about ME as a transformative composer….
The New Orleans theater collective, Skin Horse, created a great meditation on space travel – called Nocturnes I-III – which ran for most of November. And it was a great pleasure to work with them and create a fairly wall-to-wall score, using digital and analog electronics, piano, percussion and even a little clarinet.
Packed audiences seem to love every second of it!
Here’s a piece of music I wrote for the piece (which actually fell to the cutting room floor):
The Totalitarians, a world premiere by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, directed by Ken Prestininzi (both New Dramatists, by the way) will premiere in late January 2014 – And I am happy to be onboard as sound designer. Anticipating a really fun and wild ride!
Lisa D’Amour, the playwright. Anne Kauffman, the director. Mimi Lien, set design. And myself on sound/music. And all at the great Wilma Theater of Philadelphia! Very excited about it – Opens January 16th!
The next massive, indescribable, much-bigger-than-a-theater piece by PearlDamour (following their 8-hour performance/installation How To Build a Forest) is called Milton – and I am thrilled to be making music and sound for it. there is a lot of information on the project here: http://pearldamour.com/?page_id=915 –
We had a great workshop and performance at JACK in September and a showing at Prelude NYC -and the next step is another development stage at Brown University and then a workshop at San Francisco’s A.R.T. in April!
I’m very happy with how it all turned out – and can’t thank the great people of the CAC enough for making it happen. And best of all, it’s been reported that people have been making out in the gallery, while the sound surrounds them. Excellent.
Over the past few years, I’ve been toting around a small handheld recording device, and occassionally, when inspired, I’ll record my surroundings. I had no intention on doing anything to these recordings – I simply liked the sounds I found, and played them for others. But I then got interested in the musical material that I discovered within these recordings – the tone of the Metro in Paris, the rhythm of the frogs in a pond, the melody of a group of people in a park. I then began to tease out this musical material, layering in electro-acoustic materials – performed mostly by me.
I had a little sneak-preview of these pieces at the great Catapult space in New Orleans with a great group of friends and thinkers. And I’m not sure what the future is for them. Have a listen!
Another great time was had creating HOW TO BUILD A FOREST with Katie Pearl, Lisa D’Amour, Shawn Hall and the whole build team – this time at the Diller/Scofidio-designed performance space, The Granoff Center on the Brown University campus. With only 2 full 8-hour installations, we had about 600 people come through! It really is an amazing project. Here’s a link to a time-lapse video of the enitre intallaion-performance, this one form Duke University: