Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Music of North Side Spaces

Some of you may know about my 'Music of North Side Spaces' project in the works. For those of you who don't...well, I have a project called 'Music of North Side Spaces' in the works. There you go. But for those of you who want to know more, I received a grant in the fall of '09 to write music for the summer of '10, scheduled for June 27th at 3pm. Mark your calendars. The performance will feature live performances in site-specific settings on the North Side of Pittsburgh. The project has wider ambitions to connect several organizations in that area, including the New Hazlett Theatre, Children's Museum, Lake Elizabeth/National Aviary, and Mattress Factory, promoting the organizations in general and get people over to the North Side, as well as use alternative transportation (walking/buses). There were several awards chosen as part of the Grable Foundation ' Charm Bracelet Microgrant' process. My project in particular involves guests taking a walking tour of the area, and along one's route you'll hear live music, written by myself, inspired by the history and architecture, natural landscape, and fun facts about one's surroundings. Not only will wanderers realize how close some of these museum/cultural attractions are to one another, I hope it adds a little spontaneity to some of the usual sights on the North Side, and maybe passers by will join in and listen. The best part is that it will be free!

I'm setting to work on this project with a few upcoming meetings, and I hope I can have some questions answered. There are so many factors I've never had to consider before, like park permits, rain plans, coordinating musicians along a time-line, a monologue for a tour guide, and expenses written into the grant. Do I take elements from current cultural trends, like the large African-American population in that area, or do I highlight a site for its former life in the 1900's as a vegetable stand and outdoor pavillion? Do I keep the size intimate, and only distribute a few postcards, or do the other organizations get involved and promote the concert, which might make the group so large that nobody can hear any of the acoustic music? Will I need a megaphone? Oh, and what is everyone going to wear, and I hope it involves top hats and/or costumes. It's going to be a great experience, but the list of questions is pretty long. On top of all of that I have hopes that the music I'll write for it is still interesting.

I'll keep you posted on the progress of planning a possible brass band, Andrew Carnegie's ghost, typewriter percussion, DJ, melodica, folk trio, improvised flute music in trees, and other exciting possibilities...

(Photo above: Deborah Asheim work at Mattress Factory, as I don't have any pictures of the spaces I want to use yet. To be continued!)

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