Part of me wanted to keep the genesis and construction of my newest fixed-format piece "Bifocals" a secret. It hasn't premiered yet (but it will today!), and there is a surprise embedded in the piece, so I thought, why spoil it?
Well, either I have a hard time keeping my mouth shut or I have a hard time inventing new material for my blog. Either way, if you are going to tonight's event, FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY PLEASE PUT THE BLOG DOWN AND STOP READING.
But, for those who rubberneck, keep gawking.
As I mentioned previously, I was casually attending the BGSU New Music Festival in October and staying with my gracious composer friends Jamie Leigh Sampson and Andrew Martin Smith. One morning over breakfast we were talking shop about electronic music, and I may have uttered the words "Of course I write electronic music pieces: I'm a child of the 80s, but most of the time I don't know what I'm doing," and Andrew was like, "So…would you like to write a piece using glass sounds?"
Well, of course I did. I wasn't sure I was going to have enough time to create something decent from the pre-recorded sounds collected from the Gathered Art Gallery. But while Andrew kept talking about the details of the event, I immediately thought of Benjamin Franklin's glass armonica (probably because I saw The King's Man the weekend I completed the I-71), and then Philadelphia, and then crime rates and major accidents in urban cities like Philadelphia. And then I thought of drug culture and police sirens, and then I was looking up "glass harmonica" on my phone, and then I thought I should probably look up at Andrew because he was still talking to me and that would be The Polite Thing To Do.
I said yes to the project because I had a good ADD-ridden concept in my head. Why not start the piece with beautiful glass tones (possibly representing Philadelphia's past?) and then abruptly curtail the pretty ambient music hypnosis with a violent car crash (possibly representing Philadelphia's present?).
I'm not exactly sure why or how I invented such a brutal idea for this piece. I suppose the explanation will be found in a future blog post, but in the meantime, here is the composite product.
Do you hear what I did there? Considering my pathetic phobia of sudden loud noises, I may be hiding in the bathroom and covering my ears every time my piece is played. If you come to the event, you'll know where to find me.