A dozen or so musicians will be in boats a bit before sunset and will play a new piece that reflects and responds to the grounds of the sculpture park, as well as my own ancestors. As the music goes on for 45 minutes or so, the audience will be able to walk around the lake to hear the music as it changes from different angles. The different sections of the music will be triggered by myself from within a boat via different natural sounds such as Conch shells, rocks, and branches, and the music itself will be divided into different sections based on abstracted ideas or sentiments my own ancestors - musical, familial and otherwise. Composer Michael Schelle has graciously agreed to provide some well-rehearsed players from Butler University's great New Music ensemble - the JCFA Composer's Orchestra.
As darkness approaches, people in attendance will then be invited to light a lantern and send it out onto the water as the music is ending. The 100 or so lanterns are being designed and realized by artist Erin Elyse Burns - and as you can see from the photos she took during a test run here in Seattle (above), the lanterns release at the end of the event will be quite spectacular! Imagine those lanterns times 20! Besides the square ones seen above - which the audience will be invited to help make before the event - Burns will also construct a couple dozen lanterns that will be more elaborate that reflect the nature of ancestors, family, and the cultures that this event is derived from.
It is the aim of this event - and much of my work - to allow people who would not ordinarily enter into the concert hall to interact with music in new ways and to reflect on their familiar surroundings with fresh perspectives. And, in particular with this one I hope that Hungry Ghosts will encourage attention to the moment and to the immediacy of our lives through reflection on their connection to the past.