The Beginnings of a Piece


I figure now is a good time to finally put notes onto paper for this wind ensemble piece I'm writing. Admittedly, I've been a little apprehensive about it. What do you do with all of that color? How will I orchestrate this? And most importantly, how on earth do I begin a new piece of music?


One day (during the summer) I was bored out of my mind and I Googled neon signs. Neon signs have lots of color, right?

Um, have you tried searching for pictures of neon signs on the internet? It's fruitless; almost trashy. They make neon signs for everything. And they are best kept lit.


I was also searching for images of cool buildings. One really cool building: In 2004 the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters was completed. (Why is it that after I move, Los Angeles erects some pretty awesome buildings? Bleh.)


So, this is what the Caltrans District 7 Headquarters looks like:


It was designed by Thom Mayne, Pritzker-Prize-winning architect who recently designed floating houses.


Admittedly, this building looks like the Death Star, but less spherical.


This building also looks like my gym, a place not as feared as the Death Star, but inflicts pain no less:


So, okay, back to the Caltrans building: What really caught my eye was this public neon sculpture in the lobby:


And, after lots of Google-searching, I found that Keith Sonnier designed this light sculpture entitled "Motordom."


Motordom is the largest public art installation in Los Angeles; it's four stories high. I wish I could actually see this sculpture (alas, I am in Cincinnati), but I enlisted my dad to take some pictures (thanks, dad!!).


If you want to see more photos of this installation, click here. The first few I stole from the internet, and the rest my dad took.


I'm hoping these neon lights will provide some inspiration for the piece. If not, well, I don't have any better ideas.

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