I have composed several pieces “about” specific places, using sounds from these environments as a means to evoke the experiences, both aural and emotional, that one might have there. In Kings Highway / Stillwell Ave., I string together a series of gestures to create a musical autobiography of my one year living in New York City. I derived these gestures from sounds of the city and my apartment. Since I didn’t have an audio recorder, I “painted” them onto paper and made them playable on the piano instead. Like Van Gogh, who altered the realism of his paintings and added elements to express his own thoughts and feelings about his landscapes, my alteration from musique concrete to piano allowed me to stamp my own emotions onto my soundscape.
The audio comes from my introduction of an earlier version of the work to the audience. In addition to adding the audio element, I worked with Vin Grabill created a film version of Kings Highway using photographs I took of New York– in addition to the footage of me performing the piece at the Church of the Holy City in Washington, DC. The film was selected for the Rosebud Film Festival in 2012.
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