MORE THINGS IN HEAVEN AND EARTH (2017)

I’m thrilled to share a (home-brewed) recording of a piece I wrote for P. Lucy McVeigh this past summer, “More Things in Heaven and Earth,” for voice, electronics, and organ (played beautifully in the premiere by Douglas Buchanan). This simple piece sets a brief quotation from Shakespeare–“there are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophy”–in a fragmented, disordered fashion, and seeks to explore what it means when we confront something we can neither control nor understand. The first section of the piece populates a looping patch in Max, creating dense vocal polyphony around a simple synthesizer loop. The second section is what I call the “mirror version,” in which all of the audio that has been gathered in the first section is presented “in reverse,” and begins to refigure itself using a series of non-predictable computer algorithms. It is my hope that this section–more of an installation than a performance, in which our live players are suddenly no longer needed–will play with listeners’ senses of time, and acknowledge the secret inner lives of musical performances–what they might secretly become once they are complete and fading into memory.