"the neighborhood" (sketch)


Proposal
I’m interested in a Pioneer Works residency to begin working on a large-scale evening length performance-installation titled the neighborhood, my largest piece to date, which I plan to build over the next few years. The full project will assemble seven simultaneously performed compositions for seven small ensembles, each dispersed throughout a performance space and each with their own sculptural architecture, arranged as an indoor sound environment that an audience will roam about. Currently, I have an upcoming commission from Brooklyn chamber ensemble Exceptet (violin, double bass, clarinet, bassoon, trumpet, trombone and percussion) and I intend to use a residency at Pioneer Works to compose three preliminary sketches for the neighborhood. These sketches will jump-start the process of discovering the most successful compositional models for the final version of the work while concurrently existing as complete and autonomous compositions. Because my music is temporal, minimal and abstract, I’m interested in constructing dialogues between compositions by layering them in simultaneous performances. The large-scale form of these pieces is dictated by broad strokes of musical material that overlap through time. Then, by dispersing these performances in space and allowing listeners to wander between them, I’m able to design an experience with sound that mimics a gallery event rather than a staged concert. The spatial nature, instrumentation, and sculptural architectures of this project introduces some unique logistical issues for rehearsals, making it imperative that I have a dedicated workspace to experiment with the arrangement of ensembles and uncover the most successful compositional possibilities. If granted a residency, I plan to present these completed sketches as an hour-long “open studio” performance in the front gallery space (near the garage door) or elsewhere in tandem with a Second Sundays event.

Proposed Residency Dates — 

  • February 1 – 12, 2017
  • March 1 – 12, 2017
  • April 1 – 9, 2017
  • May 1 – 14 , 2017

Residency Needs

  • 1-2 weeks of dedicated residency space · Breakdown below:
  • Rehearsal space to workshop with musicians · 5 days for 3hrs ea. (PW Recording Studio)
  • 20 - 30 Sq Ft for installation construction · 5 days for 6hrs ea. (PW Recording Studio or Other Space)
  • 40 - 50 Sq Ft for performance and installation · 2 days for 7hrs ea. (Larger Public Space)

Work Samples

Still Life No. 1

Much of my music is intended to be 'seen,' in the same ways Sol LeWitt's drawings are meant to be 'heard.' In my concert work, Musical fragments are investigated in every conceivable combination, like a sonic object analyzed from every possible angle. This process is the most evident in 'Still Life No. 1.' Short phrases subtly shift in every permutation, slowly ascending the keyboard until, at their most fragile, they evaporate. In this music, repetition is a gateway to perception, where the inability to focus on every moment blurs the concept of time and where slight changes in pacing and harmony become striking landmarks. Through reduction and stillness the mode of listening is heightened. Start at 24:00 to hear the piano in it's most fragile register.

Still Life No.  2

Each process I work with possesses a distinct quality, evoking a unique character. In 'Still Life No. 2' I put these characters in conversation, employing a loosely stacked collection of three autonomous musical processes to generate the musical landscape. The ensemble is split into groups each performing their own music (strings with an undulating drone, percussion with a phasing kaleidoscopic melody, and winds with aimless harmonies) and the outcome is nearly static, an ambient musical topography of broad harmonic strokes and incidental dialogues. This provides an environment for listeners to scan the music with their ears the way they might scan with their eyes. Start at 3:00 to hear the systematic addition of wind players atop layers of strings and percussion.

Contrails

Contrails was written in collaboration with my band TIGUE in late 2015. The music borrows from the permutations series in my concert music but recontextualized through an instrumentation that includes electric guitar, harmonium, bowed cymbals, found objects and live cassette tape recordings. Over the course of the last year TIGUE performed this music in various forms, varying in length from 5 to 50 minutes. Through these variations the concept of the piece has remained the same; a performance is recorded in real time, direct to cassette, then, halfway through the performance, rewound and played back in conversation with, and eventually taking precedent over, the live performance. In this excerpt, recorded at WFMU, you can hear the tape recordings appear around the 2:00.

Performance/Installation view from "Contrails" · 2.20.2016 · Wild Project

Performance/Installation view from "Surfaces" · 6.6.2016 · Roulette

Artist Statement 
My concert music magnifies time, stretching sound beyond a listener's peripheries and constructing an abstract representation of a single instant. I imagine that there is architecture within each second. These conceptual spaces are expressed in my compositions through a musical stillness in extreme duration, blending ambient drones, process-based minimalism, installation and conceptual art. A collection of musical and visual influences includes Laraaji, William Basinski, Morton Feldman, Steve Reich, Ann Hamilton, Robert Irwin, Alex de Corte and Katharine Grosse. In my concert pieces, musical fragments are performed in every permutation and analyzed from every direction. Sonic drones are given life through subtle variations, and simple patterns are augmented over extreme durations. Like painting, various hues are layered and blurred across the canvas of time, providing a transcendent listening space for one to reflect and trace their own experience.

Collaboration is a cornerstone of my practice. Alongside concert music, I frequently work in cross-disciplinary contexts, playing in bands and producing performances that synthesize music, movement and visual art. Through these projects, aesthetics and concepts merge, tirelessly avoiding narrative, in the construction of a kinetic environment of abstraction, logic and beauty.