What's in store.
In the coming year I will be working on a 30 minute multimedia composition, music with visual accompaniment, entitled "MARS". This work incorporates modern composition, live recordings of symphonic musicians utilizing non-traditional performance techniques and 4K 3D footage created from the Mars HiRise orbiter for presentation in Planetariums and onstage with live Orchestra.
I will compose and complete a 30 minute multimedia composition, MARS, which will be made available for public presentation as a live multmedia presentation, as a Planetarium experience, and / or a live orchestral presentation.
Alaskan musicians will be brought into the studio to consult as “technique collaborators” to perform sounds which will be included in the final work. The score will be available if such a Symphonic performance presents itself. High resolution photography from the HiRISE Mars orbiter will be rendered in 4K 3D as a stunning visual accompaniment. These shots are quite something to witness. The landscapes of Mars are quite unexpected, not at all what you see from the small land-based rovers.
But seeing beyond the generally amazing footage, there is a clear compositional tone and ethic I will be aiming for. I have something much bigger to say here.
It is time to explore the relationships between the many disciplines I'm involved in and form a coherent core from which I can compose. This composition is a complicated connection between the many forms I use and presents a perfect opportunity to create something new and enduring. The chance to collaborate with other musicians is always a musically broadening experience, especially given the depth of musical understanding of the people I will be working with.
What I will also be doing in creating MARS is finding a much wider audience and help to create a clearer direction for my future work. MARS is a point upon which my future works can refer to as a clear statement of my compositional intent and direction.
Simply put, this is a piece that needs to be written now. Not to belabor the point, but we are at a point on Earth where our environmental concerns weigh heavily upon us. Not coincidentally we also look to the cosmos to understand our own place and hope to find Earth-like qualities elsewhere. But projecting our selves into what we see out there can cost the inherent beauty and strangeness of those places
If I have learned anything from being born into a dramatically Northern place, it is that your environment informs your art, whether you want it to or not. Studying Mars for these past few years has instilled in me a sense of gratitude for the Earth, but also an awe of the complete Otherness and terrifying beauty of our sister planet. As harsh as Alaska can seem like to a tropical person, so can Mars seem, tenfold. If I can convey the sense of wonder of someplace that can never be Earth, using the language that that place inspires, perhaps we will see ourselves through an appropriate lens again and rethink our place in the Cosmos. One can see MARS as a cautionary tale of our aloneness in the cosmos, and still yet appreciate and respect the parallel paths our planets have taken.
This is my next large-form composition. Given the musical and visual tools available now, MARS is a challenge that can be approached with conviction and clarity.