In Huts and on Journeys

In Huts and on Journeys is a piece for spoken voice and as many mobile phones as available. Everyone within sound range of the spoken voice performer can participate. Please play the sound file that corresponds to the month of your birth. If there is a playback system in the space, you can seed the space with an additional optional stereo mix I will provide. The sound files don’t need to be strictly coordinated: one person – perhaps the spoken word performer – starts, then the others can press play whenever they feel the urge to join in. The spoken word performer can play their birth month sound file, or if there is no playback system, they can play the stereo mix file.

In Huts and on Journeys is part of my ongoing project, A Book of Days. Please visit May 19th to hear a recording I made in thanks to Lainie and Herb Alpert on the occasion of receiving the Alpert Award in the Arts in 2017.

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When you purchase the materials, we will send you a link to a page with the twelve sound files and the optional additional stereo mix, as well as a copy of the text for the spoken word performer, along with many thanks for supporting this low-key way of publishing.


Another Time

My friend and colleague Lara Downes asked a bunch of us to write small anniversary pieces in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s 100th birthday. I took the opportunity to read the Humphrey Burton biography that had been languishing on my shelf for years, and to re-listen to lots of Bernstein, which was simultaneously fascinating, beautiful, and sort of heartbreaking, as time with Lenny often is.

So Another Time is inspired by a few things:

• the octave leap in bar 5 of the melody of Some Other Time (from On the Town). If you haven’t heard Barbra’s incredible live recording, I recommend it with my whole heart:

• Agnes de Mille’s report that LB was fired for dropping in a 5/8 or 7/8 every now and then when accompanying dance classes back in the day,

• the story that West Side Story has a song highlighting each interval (Maria is the tritone, Somewhere the minor 7th, etc.)

So this little piece could be played in 4/4, but I alternate 7/8 and 4/4. The melody fragments cycle through intervals starting with the octave in bar 2, the 7th in bar 5, and so on.

You can listen to Lara’s recording by visiting Lenny’s birthday in A Book of Days.

And if you would like a copy of the score, please click the Paypal button below.

I normally charge $5.00 for the piece, but in these lockdown days, I’ve made it pay-as-you-like. And thank you, as always, for supporting this very low key way of publishing: