The Sanctuary Project

In my last post I failed to mention that in late Summer I moved from Montréal to San Diego where I just started studies towards a Ph.D. in composition at the University of California at San Diego. Unfortunately this move, and the subsequent challenges of getting my feet on the ground again, kept me from updating this blog with my previous regularity. That said, now that I have a little more free time I wanted to share some of my recent experiences.

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As part of my stipend at UCSD I was assigned to be one of Roger Reynolds’s two studio Research Assistants. This quarter this meant that I got to help work on Roger Reynold’s most recent large work Sanctuary, for percussion ensemble and live electronics. My main tasks included consulting with Roger and Ian Saxton (Roger’s other Research Assistant) on the PD patch Ian programmed to run the live electronics in Sanctuary, helping with the technological set-up, as well as triggering the piece’s 180+ electronic cues during rehearsals and performance.

In mid and late October Steve Schick, red fish blue fish, Roger Reynolds, Ian Saxton and myself spent a little a more than two weeks at UCSD working in the Multipurpose Space at CalIt 2. We spent this time experimenting with and refining technology for the world premiere of Sanctuary that occurred on November 18th.

Below are two photos taken while we worked in the Multipurpose Space

Left to Right:
Greg Stuart and Roger Reynolds

Left to Right:
Ian Saxton (at computer), Greg Stuart, Justin DeHart, Roger Reynolds, Fabio Olivera, Ross Karre

For a week in mid-November, Steve Schick, red fish blue fish, Roger Reynolds, Ian Saxton, Josef Kucera, and me headed to Washington D.C. to prepare for and give the world premiere of Sanctuary in the atrium of the East Building of the National Gallery of Art. Every night before the performance we had to set up everything for Sanctuary after the gallery closed, rehearse, and then breakdown everything by 11 P.M. This was particularly stressful because not only did the the set-up include five percussion stations, two remote almglocken stations, but one to three microphones for every station, twelve speakers distributed across three levels of the gallery, recording equipment, and multiple computers and audio mixers. That said it was remarkable to rehearse in the National Gallery after it closed every night and the performance went off with virtually no technical problems.

Below are some photos I took while we worked at the National Gallery of Art. (There are also photos of the premiere available here.)

Steve Schick rehearsing Chatter/Clatter during a dinner break

Fabio Olivera watching Steve Schick rehearse

Roger Reynolds, Lina Bahn, and members of red fish blue fish relaxing before rehearsal

Ian Saxton frenetically programming behind the empty chair where I sat with the score and triggered cues

Breaking down after a successful performance

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