ISSUE Project Room : an open and versatile environment in which established and emerging artists conduct, exhibit and perform new and site-specific work
About ISSUE Project Room
mwalker on 01/08/2010 at 09:43AM
For those looking for an hour-long respite from the bitter cold and straining grind steadfastly lurking outside the four walls of your bedroom, allow composer Aaron Siegel’s Science Is Only A Sometimes Friend to send you drifting, swaddled in a blissful stupor, into that hazy, temperate zone somewhere between the clouds and the sun. A warm, inviting bed of sustained organ chords melds into the whistling glow of the harmonic residues of eight chiming glockenspiels, forming a gauzy, sun-soaked orb that encircles the motoric pulsing of ever-shifting melodic fragments.
The composer (on organ) performed the work with the Aaron Siegel Ensemble at ISSUE last month, presenting a slightly re-orchestrated update (swapping audience contribution for organ) of the composition originally premiered last spring in Central Park as part of Make Music New York. The ensemble will be going into the studio next month to lay down a recording for release this fall. Keep an eye out for it.
In the program notes, Siegel suggests the work “tests the science of attention and the counterpoint of daydreams.” At least for this weak-minded listener, to maintain a focused listening perception throughout the duration of the work is to put up a forced, unnecessary struggle against the lulling powers of the gently consonant harmonies and hypnotizing permanence of pulsing rhythms. To engage in this strife is to lose out on the wonderful pleasure of allowing the intricacies of the music and the intricacies of your wandering thoughts to float gradually in and out of focus – internal and external sensualities dancing a woozy tango in which positions of prominence continually shift. The music seeps into the daydreams and the daydreams creep into the music, forming a harmonious feedback loop perfect for fifty minutes of time-obscuring escape.