The Long Song is a song that stretches one mile, or twenty city blocks. It is a song for 21 performers to perform, and is created on a public street for the public to witness and experience, for free. It is a song, a performance, a walk, a scene in a film, and public art - all rolled into one. It is a great example of the type of work I create as an artist and director based in Pittsburgh. The Long Song is part of a series of site-specific performances for public spaces that I direct and turn into short films.
This work has not been made yet, although it has existed in my sketchbook as an idea for years. The performers stand, or sit, one block apart, on each of the 20 consecutive corners. They each sing, play, and/or perform one verse of a song that I have prepared and written for them. One can only experience The Long Song by walking, slowly riding a bike or skateboard, being pushed in a wheelchair or stroller.
The Long Song will debut on May 22 along Butler Street in Pittsburgh, PA. It has been accepted to be included in the Pittsburgh Festival of New Music 2016 (pghnewmusic.com), produced by Alia Musica Pittsburgh. The Festival runs through the month of May, and includes outdoor and theater events featuring new music artists of local, national, and international stature. The Long Song is one of three festival events in non-conventional venues, the others being a flashmob performance in Market Square, and a roving performance of Cornelius Cardew's modernist piece The Great Learning, on texts by Confucius, performed by as many performers as possible. Theater events include performances by local ensembles (Alia Musica, ELCO, Kamraton, and others) and guest artists like soprano Tony Arnold and guitarist Dieter Hennings. Festival events are supported among others by The Heinz Endowments, The Pittsburgh Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Funded by Pittsburgh, PA (March 2016)