I’m delighted to announce that I received an award from Commissioning Music USA to create a new work in collaboration with the brilliant artist Karen LaMonte. Music for emptiness/music for empty chairs will be a 20 minute work for flute, viola, electronic sound, and video. Karen describes the video: “The objective is to create a visual experience that parallels the phenomena of echo and sound as it travels toward silence.” In the music, I will attempt to embody these phenomena as expressed by the visuals. The empty chairs suggest absence, and their disintegration the inevitability of loss. The musical language will start with the human, emotional experience of loss, and gradually erase that into silence. In particular, I will explore the nature of sonic decay – what Morton Feldman called “this departing landscape.” Thus the starting point for the piece is the idea of transformation: sound disappearing into silence, form into abstraction, longing into emptiness.
Music for emptiness/music for empty chairs is commissioned by The New York Viola Society. The NYVS will present the premiere in late 2013 or early ’14. I’d also like to thank The Classical Recording Foundation for acting as our fiscal sponsor. I’m very excited about this new project, and look forward to starting on it soon!