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Museum in D (2004) electroacoustic music
I have a preoccupation with being able to transform mundane sounds into musical
narrative. Embedded in everyday conversation and the sound of the world around us is a
wealth of material that a composer can draw on using digital means. Once
recontextualized, the musicality of the mundane can be brought into focus – spoken
words have pitches, rhythms and flexible timbre. Background “noise” creates a sense of
place and space. The most ordinary sound objects placed in counterpoint can reveal
musical meaning.
Museum in D was made from conversations and sounds from the party for the opening of
Domestic Archeology at the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University on January 21,
2004. The title refers to the fact that, in spite of the focus on spoken words, there is a
harmonic structure always present, which uses the pitch “D” as a pseudo-tonic that opens
and closes the piece. The voices in the piece are those of museum patrons (including 4 ½
year-old Simon Chasalow) and three of the artists in attendance, Surasi Kusolwong,
Douglas Weathersby, and Edythe Wright. Others who deserve, but may not want
acknowledgement here include Donna Desroaches, Susan Schwab, Lee Tusman, and
Elaine Wong.