Week 2 - July 13, 14
"Spirit Rising", stage set by Pittsburgh visual artists Linda Price-Sneddon and Val M. Cox, will be unveiled along with musical world premieres by D. J. Sparr (composer)/Caitlin Vincent (librettist), and Ivette Herryman. Curated by Jeffrey Jarzynka.
The evening is entitled "What I Leave Behind" and begs the question, "When I'm gone... what remains"?
I am both honored and humbled to debut work created for the Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble's second week of summer residency at the Southside's City Theatre during its second week performance titled “What I Leave Behind”, a performance that is a meditation on the question “When I’m gone, what remains?”.
My work consists of eight 20 foot panels that will be suspended in space creating an intimate performance environment that is designed to enhance and support the evening’s musical compositions. For this project I’m collaborating with sculptor Val Cox, who is designing a suspended sculptural component that will twine its way between these panels to the floor. I’m also excited to be working with master lighting designer Andrew Ostrowski, who will bring these panels to life throughout the performance, allowing them to change in response to the performance debuts of new work by composers D.J. Sparr and Ivette Herryman.
In creating the panels' striated design and color, I thought about the life cycle of individual experience, moving from physical and emotional need satisfaction towards spiritual peace with our human existence. I've intended that the panels provide a rich backdrop for the musical experience that composers D.J. Sparr and Ivette Herryman have created for week two's theme, "What I Leave Behind", a performance that is a meditation on the question "When I'm gone, what remains".
I thought about Rothko's Chapel paintings and his use of the horizon line in his earlier work when I began the design. Sequences of stacked gray horizons provide a sense of movement through time. Intermittent color blocks give us a place to energize, rest and reflect.
The color blocks move from green (signifying the natural/physical), to red (emotional) to violet blue (our spiritual being). When I paint each color block, I use the brush stroke to give each one a distinct voice, each is its own unique physical, emotional, spiritual landscape.
As an artist whose work relies on artistic process for new ideas, I am quite intrigued by how these panels look when they hit ground and run out onto the floor. This has caused an evolution in my original idea of all panels suspended at the same height. The actual ability to do this will be constrained by the space requirements of the ensemble, but perhaps there will be some opportunity for this to be realized to some degree. As an installation artist, I know that the real magic begins on the first day of the install when the work is finally in its intended space. Invention and serendipity emerge in response to the space and my interactions with the director, the musicians and my collaborators.