In my last post, I said I was getting ready to travel, but Sandy has adjusted my plans. The premiere of Seven Stories, which I wrote about here, has been postponed until the Lower East Side has an opportunity to dry itself out – Ransom Wilson is looking into a possible January date. Other things are far higher on everyone’s priority lists right now.
Given my plans to catch Seven Stories rehearsals and performance, I’m going to miss the Atlantic Ensemble’s performance of Saturn Dreams of Mercury tonight and Low and Lower’s performance of Poke this Friday night. Here’s wishing the musicians (and audiences) involved all the best.
We’re all familiar with the sensation of being in more than one place at once. For composers, it’s often a double-exposure involving our real-time environment blurred with the shadowy outlines and vivid details of whatever composition we are working on. How many times I have found myself struggling to follow a conversation while notes and timbres are chasing one another through the cracks in the dialogue? It’s a wonder I’m ever able to hold up my end of a chat with anything resembling coherence.
This past week I’ve been in triple-exposure land, thanks to Sandy. With family members still powerless in New Jersey, not to mention countless friends struggling with conditions in the region, I’ve been avidly digging through all the media coverage I can find, hoping to get a sense of what is really going on.
Of course, all of these images and statistics are seeping their way through the harmonies and contours of three different pieces I’m currently working on. They churn and slosh together, valuables mingling with debris. It’s a dizzying combination, one that may help partially explain the dumbfounded look my family has come to recognize as my more-or-less permanent expression.
Then I step outside and see the chores of a normal autumn day awaiting me, as though nothing were awry. And those simple tasks, familiar daily distractions, seem more surreal than anything I can imagine.