Here’s a few thoughts on DEPLOYMENT, a new piece of mine that is premiering at the New England Conservatory next week.

Why such an strident title?

I kept thinking about movement of sound, capturing sound and moving it across the room. Also, the organization of instruments, the movement of one player or voice from one section to the next.

This, my first experience with orchestral players, was borne from an invitation from Steven Drury, director of NEC’s Callithumpian Consort. He had seen me play once some years ago, we did an informal duo together that evening and then ate a large amount of buffalo wings. Later, he had asked me to play some Earle Brown graphic scores with his group, which I enjoyed.

I nearly made this whole piece a tribute to Hollis Frampton’s (nostalgia), as it made a huge impression on me when I saw it at the Harvard Film Archive last year. The use of time and delay and the tricks of memory translated to cinema time… how to translate this to sound?

I also thought about board games. Not so much in terms of structure, but more what I liked to do with board games when I was a kid: move the pieces around the board without actually playing the game, making shapes and formations…

The influence of Alvin Lucier on this work is without measure. So much is possible now because of him. And the piano music of Peter Garland.

I’ll write more if I can think of it. I hope to see you next week.

Here’s some more information about the premiere.


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