One thing that can be said for Things That Break in the music portion – it consists of 828 original measures of music. Most of which have been written and edited in the month of March. So essentially my March retrospect is: I wrote, and wrote, and worked, and wrote, and wrote, and worked, and then wrote some more. As an addition to the first draft of this post, my March had a celebratory ending with being asked to participate in the Waterloo Region New Music Sessions this summer.
So, before this blog post, two things about me: A) I am not the most naturally talkative or explanatory person in the universe and B) in honor of my concert, I am breaking in that tradition.
I first came up with the idea for my concert the day after the mess that was the latest presidential election: I was heading to work, for a collaborative composition project and as I was riding the bus, my thought was that people seemed shattered. No one talked, no one looked at each other: dead silence. And what began playing in my head was both America the Beautiful and Jimmy Hendrix’s version of the Star-Spangled Banner. Thus, became my improvised solo trumpet piece, The Beautiful.
After putting this together, I realized that many ideas I had for pieces dealt with the idea of breaking. With the idea of my concert I knew that this was not a solo venture and so I asked, and was lucky enough that they said yes, Becky Joy Aitken, stop-motion animator, Sonya Harris, photographer and teller of stories, and Aimee Hong, music director and performer, if they would join in my exploration of breaking. We have all explored this concept in different ways: I have taken the serious and personal route, Sonya from a route of discovery, Becky from the land of quirkiness, and Aimee from engagement and reflection.
Pieces I’ve put together for concerts, an entire concert, never. And so began my education into arts administration. Meetings for content, meetings for context, funding in all its various forms, networking (which I’ve just decided is making new friends – a lovely endeavor), finding the concert space, finding performers, creating a rehearsal schedule, more meetings, finding rehearsal spaces, figuring out sound people, rehearsing, advertising, organization. Endless emailing. Thank you to all the wonderful women who agreed to be part of my project.
To the content of the concert! Beyond The Beautiful, there is The Vision Cow Returns, a piece that ruminates on the breaking into enlightenment in a musical combination of the 8 Noble truths of Buddhism and bizarre animal stories a la David Sedaris’ Squirrel Meets Chipmunk in a response to the Edward Espe Brown’s poem, The Vision Cow. The third piece, Song for a Harbor, is a diminution of the semi-diurnal tides of the Puget Sound and a tribute to a friend and mentor. The final piece and title of the concert, Things that Break, you’ll have to come to hear to find the story behind it.
This is the first concert of entirely my music, curated by me, collaborating with other art forms. This past year has been a delight and looking forward to its culmination this Friday.
Per usual, thank you to Sonya Harris for the photos during our second rehearsal.