Preparing the Past

for 4-hand piano, two vibraphones and two glockenspiels (2009)

I often have the experience of missing the present time as it is happening. I am certain that others must have this feeling, too. I think as we become more able to document every image and sound of our lives, the less likely we are to experience our lives in the present tense. I am not certain that this is a terrible thing. It’s much too complicated for me to say. And it’s also not necessarily something associated with the current developments in technology (though they certainly are significant). The very act of taking a photograph on film seems just as potent of a way to fix a moment in time and insure a slightly distorted view of the present as instantaneously the past. Preparing the Past, was inspired in part by the novelist W.G. Sebald’s book, “Austerlitz.” This novel includes nostalgic and mysterious photos that bring a second (or third or fourth) dimension to the narrative experience. With Preparing the Past, I am interested in exploring the narrative that emerges as a moment is recorded (mvt. 1), scrutinized (mvt. 2) and ultimately re-imagined (mvt. 3).

This version was recorded at Roulette on May 29, 2009.

(Emily Manzo and Anna Dagmar – piano, Joe Bergen and Chris Graham – Glockenspiels, Justin Wolf and Al Cerulo – vibraphones)

Movement 1 – There is a Way

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Movement 2 – Scrutiny

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