March 21, 2007

Ucross #5 - settling in

I've been listening to all the voices I recorded during the Bring Your Own Voice Museum Tour here in Jesse's Hideout. It is always an intimate experience, putting on the headphones and hearing people who I don't know express their thoughts and ideas and feelings, but somehow it was even more powerful here. Maybe it is because I am in the middle of nowhere with very few people around generally speaking, yet I have imported 250 of my 'subjects' to study. I guess the isolation amplifies. I like it.

Yesterday, I listened to the voices from the first Museum Tour event at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum and picked out the snippets of expression that struck me as interesting musically or in their content. It's always an exciting time to begin the listening process because everything is wide open. I have no idea what the music I write from these voices is going to be like and I have the ultimate luxury right now of being able to make these sorts of decisions. And then I can change my mind over and over again and I won't drive anyone by myself crazy! Such are the benefits of being a solitary composer...

Today, as I dive into the Portland Museum of Art and MASS MoCA voices, I am beginning to form some thoughts about what might make up the piece. As I listen, I often wish that I had asked different questions, or phrased things differently, but there is nothing to be done about that now, and I certainly have plenty of raw material to work with. I am feeling like focusing on a few very specific recurring ideas and personal expressions of some of the participants rather than trying to somehow create some sort of scientifically equal representation of everyone. That just results in brown, which isn't something I strive for (sorry UPS).

Posted by halsey at March 21, 2007 09:01 PM