Balancing Act  

Directions to the Audience:

The audience will be admitted beginning at 7:30 PM and may enter and exit at anytime after that. The performance will have begun some minutes or hours before then.

The performance proceeds without interruption until 10 PM.

Please enter quietly. Find a place to stand or sit comfortably. Feel free to move about quietly and with respect for others.

The performance space is a sonic ecosystem; all sound and objects that influence sound (such as people with winter coats) transform the music and lighting in the space.

The musicians are performing a score dependent on the color of specific lights, which respond to sound in the space. As all of the sonic elements in the space (including you) are seeking a balance of existence, the musicians are attempting to find a balance of sound that produces desired light colors.

Program Notes:

The idea of finding equilibrium in one’s life—seeking balance—as a metaphor for mental health is the inspiration for the behavior of sound in Balancing Act, as well as the performance instructions provided to the musicians. These instructions are open to interpretation and are provided according to chance, reflecting the individual nature of finding a balance in response to arbitrary or unforeseen circumstances. 

Sometimes we perform alone, working only with the objects which surround us. Sometimes we perform with one or more similarly situated folks, working toward a balance, stability, and predictability—improvising when necessary—in response to real or perceived changes to our environment. We may cautiously test or thoughtfully experiment on our surroundings. We may boldly go forward without consideration of the consequences of our actions. But consequences there will be, and in Balancing Act, they are realized in sound and light. Decisions or chance happenings will influence events hours later, impossible to trace back, but consequential none-the-less. 

The tuning of primary sonic elements are based on analyses of the sonic characteristics of rooms in the Kirkbride Building. These rooms include a kitchen, the chapel, and the Quiet Rooms. Some of the sounds used as musical instruments are based on recordings of hinges in the Kirkbride Building.