As the son of a research scientist, (my Dad researched fished that lived in isolated springs in the desert comparing them to their fossil ancestors), I spent every summer in the western U.S. deserts on his scientific expeditions until I was 18. This experience had a strong effect on my outlook as a musician and composer where the themes of nature, extremes, self-reliance, and a deep sense of time recur in my work. For one of my latest projects, I conceived the DAVIS SQUARE SYMPHONY as a populist work for orchestra with a film component, based on traffic patterns in Davis Square. I wanted to see how the daily life of Davis Square could become a symphony.
I filmed Davis Square from five different locations in the four different seasons. This footage was edited down to 18 minutes and forms the structure for the composition.
Each season has a different harmony with spring the most consonant; winter the most dissonant. The score was created by applying grids with the appropriate seasonal harmony to the footage. Vehicles are strings, pedestrians are woodwinds and brass, bicycles are snare drums, etc. Once various decisions were made concerning harmony, instrumentation and dynamics, the piece played itself based on what shows up on-screen. People will see their every-day lives transformed into music.
The DAVIS SQUARE SYMPHONY was initially conceived of as a performance for a full live orchestra with film. A high quality MIDI orchestral score will also be created for the film. In this manner it can be shown as a film or an installation at an art museum.
After hearing the DAVIS SQUARE SYMPHONY, I hope people will view their daily environment with new eyes and ears. Exposure to this piece will give individuals a different sense of meaning to their routine actions. In a society where everyone is pressed for time, helping people consider how their movements can be musical will be a successful outcome of this composition. It is an active way of looking at the world.
Funded by Boston, MA (March 2017)