Gorgeous woods perfect for Inuksuit bird calls to resonate through
Matthew’s Inuksuit station
By Doug Perkins
On the day before Earth Day (a little over a week ago), I directed a performance of John Luther Adams’ Inuksuit in Richmond, VA at the University of Richmond. This performance was the capstone of their weekend of Earth Day activities to raise awareness and inspire activism around the campus and beyond. The weekend could not have been more perfect!
The involvement of all involved was incredible. We had a strong core of Richmond folks with UR, VCU, and the blackbirds holding it down for the home team. From there, we had some regional representations with strong players from UVA, Christopher Newport University, Peabody, Towson, the Great Noise Ensemble, and folks from Baltimore and Raleigh, NC. After these folks came the JLA harcores… We had UNC Pembroke, Furman (SC), Bard (Upstate NY), FSU (FLA), and Eastman (almost Canada) logging major miles to be part of the band. In addition to the music makers, the University as a whole was fully engaged. The President of the University introduced JLA’s talk and used it as an opportunity to talk about the UR’s environmental commitments. The Deans were engaged, the Museum curated a special exhibit of Inuit art, UR artists were out installing art through the woods, and student activists even conspired to hand out seedlings to concert goers. This was a truly wonderful example of how a community can come together through art to make a splash and make an impact!
Mounting and performing Inuksuit is a bold and audacious undertaking. Because of this, its participants (presenters, venues, performers, volunteers, audience) have to be fully engaged in the process. As a result, it serves as a touch point for creation and inspiration to many who encounter it. In my role as director/organizer/cheerleader/etc., I tend to work on any given production for 6 months to a year. Over that time, I love observing people as they grow with the piece. First, they take ownership for their part. Eventually, this ownership turns to empowerment, and then hopefully to leadership. Inuksuit invariably lights a fire under those who touch it. From the many performances of the piece, there are now countless members of the global Team Inuksuit planning and executing their own big/ crazy projects. Inuksuit is spawning an ever growing community of creative dreamers making an impact around the world. I know that venues like the Miller Theater in NYC (and hopefully the University of Richmond) are taking the positive spirit of Inuksuit and using it to launch other meaningful events that serve their community beyond the concert hall. Some performers are curating their own events, writing new large-scale works, strengthening their connections to their musical brethren, and some are even developing a percussion program in Rikers Island prison. Inuksuit is proving itself not to just be an incredible piece of music but also a vehicle for inspiration that changes their relationship to music and community. To me, it gets no better than that!
Inuksuits are happening all over the place these days. If you want to join the team, find me and let me know. Team Inuksuit needs you!!!www.dougperkins.com
So true, but the dressing rooms are on 5 and the stage is on 0.
It was cold and windy, but quite sunny and picturesque in the city of Amsterdam. Unfortunately I was already feeling ill on my train ride into Amsterdam, and I never got to explore much outside of the view from my hotel window. Besides rehearsals, my days were spent miserably in bed while I waited for my boyfriend to come back and show me pictures of the sights he saw. Luckily our hotel was situated right on the water next to the new Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, and I had a perfect vantage point for watching the impossibly large cruise ships dock during the day.
Once we made everyone in Luna Park say their names three times and spell them for us, we jumped right into Double Sextet rehearsal, which went extremely well right from the beginning. We even had time to go into discussions about perhaps injecting a little baroque style into the second movement (which had Tim salivating and Nick crying sacrilege). I couldn’t get over how wonderful it was to hear pianos and vibes tuned to the same pitch (442) for once.
Our first concert was in Eindhoven, where the second half of the program was a set by Ben Frost. I was dreading the hour-and-a-half-long bus ride in my feverish state, but it turned out to be one of the unexpected highlights of my trip. This bus was all decked out with tables, fully adjustable captain’s seats, an espresso maker, a drawer full of coffee cookies and sodas, and mood lighting. Much like flying first class internationally, it has spoiled bus travel for me forever.
The next night was our full program next door to our hotel in the lovely Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ. Recently built, we marveled at the beauty of the hall’s design, which included programmable LED lighting built into each movable panel onstage. The panels had screen-like wooden slats, so the lights behind them created this ethereal patterned glow in any color you wanted. Quite a luxurious stage to play on after our Eindhoven black box. Luna Park and eighth blackbird joined forces not only for Double Sextet, but for Counting Duets, which was a delightful display of whimsy and virtuosic counting in Dutch (exponentially more syllables when you get past the teens).
The last night was in Rotterdam at another beautiful hall. We had the same driver and bus company, but sadly a different bus. Not by any means uncomfortable, but let’s just say there was no espresso machine on board. The concert didn’t start until 9pm (what is it with late start times and interminable intermissions in the Netherlands?), so there was a lot of yawning and pretending it was only 7:30 when we got our stage calls. In any case, the audience in Rotterdam was unbelievably enthusiastic, bringing us out for several curtain calls. Maybe that late start time is to let them get a head start on drinking and eating, and then do it all again during intermission - whatever the reason, my scientific study of three concerts concludes that later start times mean happier audiences.
So now we’re back home recovering, or at least some of us are. Tim stayed on to traipse around Berlin, Rachel headed to Belgium, Matthew stayed a couple days in Amsterdam to relax with Eva, and I headed to New York for the week. I started to feel better during the concert in Rotterdam, just in time to leave the Netherlands, and I’m continuing to get better though I’m still not myself almost two weeks later. Hopefully we’ll have a chance to go back soon so I can see in person what everyone was talking about.
A few days ago, we were picked up at the Calgary airport by a very gregarious man named Ben. He asked all the usual questions, but when Tim asked him where he was from originally, he made us guess. The whole van got involved - we narrowed it down by continent, then by region - and it took us a good part of the trip to guess that he was from Iran, and we really guessed because he told us what his “real” name was. We’re such stupid Americans. As he told us more about himself, we soon realized that he was by far the most interesting person in the van, having fought in a war and then spending twelve years trying leave Iran to come to Canada. We teased him about the weather (quite a change, eh?), and he said that while in eighteen years he still hasn’t gotten used to the ten months of winter, Calgary was “white heaven” and Iran was “hell”.
I don’t know about Iran, but Calgary was indeed a white heaven, with snow on the ground, crisp clean air, and expansively brilliant blue skies. Our hotel was conveniently located right on campus, next door to the performing arts center, with full use of the campus facilities, which included a climbing wall. Other perks included free long distance calling to the US (conference calls galore!), and free wifi (Canadian Netflix yielded some pleasant surprises). We were hosted by Dean O’Brien, head of the Calgary Pro Musica Series, and father to a very precocious young violist named Wes, whose sweet demeanor was surpassed only by his enthusiasm for music. He showed up to pretty much all of our events, including our public lecture/demonstration, where Tim, in the midst of explaining how memorization enhances our chamber ensemble skills, dropped the “O” bomb. If I remember correctly, he first stumbled over the word “organism”, managing only the first syllable, then tried again, only to spit out the word “orgasm” rather forcefully. I cringed amidst the howls of laughter because Dean and his wife were sitting attentively in the third row with Wes, having taken him out of school just so he could attend our very educational lecture.
To their credit, Wes and his parents seemed amused and unfazed. Wes even manned our merchandise table during the concert sporting an eighth blackbird hat. And if that angelic face can’t sell our merch, no one can…which means we probably need to design some new hats.
One of the most common questions we get is about our name. What does it mean? Where is it from? Why eighth when there are only six of you? And we explain that it’s from the Wallace Stevens poem Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird, specifically the eighth stanza. Besides reading the poem, I didn’t know much about Wallace Stevens, but our latest concert in Hartford changed all that.
It started with Lisa alerting us that the Wallace Stevens house was only a mile or so away from where we were performing in Hartford on Thursday (the Lincoln Theater at the University of Hartford) and turned into a whirlwind adventure of a pilgrimage. We didn’t have a lot of time before the concert, so we were just going to drive by his house and take some pictures, but on the way there our Wiki-sleuthing revealed that there was more to see. Wallace Stevens lived about two miles away from his workplace at Hartford Insurance and walked the same path to and fro everyday. Along this path are thirteen Connecticut granite stone markers, each engraved with a stanza from our eponymous poem. We took pictures in front of his obviously occupied house, and then immediately went looking for the eighth stanza. Once we found it, we realized we couldn’t stop there. We had to indulge our inner nerds, racing the clock to find all of them. With the intrepid Lisa driving, we sped along his two-mile path, illegally parking and dashing to the stones to take pictures. At one point we doubled back to catch one that we couldn’t stop at, and got yelled at by a bus driver while another school bus came dangerously close to our car. But we got all of them and it was totally worth it - a pilgrimage wrapped in a scavenger hunt wrapped in kitschy tourism.
Here’s a guest post by our sound designer Ryan Ingebritsen. He and our intrepid office manager Kyle Vegter are hard at work on an experimental project at High Concept Labs. Read on…
Sound Room. An Experiment in sound, space, and time.
First off, sound room is not a band or a group, but a collaboration between
three composers who have an interest in using technology and using space as
a musical element. The sound room is a moment in time at High Concept Labs
where composers Kyle Vegter, Daniel R Dehaan, and I are installing a 16 channel
speaker system that is custom designed for the HCL space and developing software
using MAX/MSP and Ableton Live to send sound to these speakers in various
ways. Through this residency, we have been engaging in sound experiments to
tweak the system and make it configurable for different purposes, conducting live
improvisation sessions with local musicians from classical, jazz, and pop music
spheres, and working individually on interactive works and pre-recorded music that
fills the room with sound.
As a sound engineer, the idea of using space for musical purposes is
one I deal with on a daily basis. Music gets put into different rooms that have
different qualities and it is pretty rare that artists or presenters consider the sonic
quality of the room when booking it or creating a program. Technology can do a lot
to mask undesirable characteristics in a room, but in the end, the sound of a room is
always going to be a part of the performance. So instead of trying to completely
erase all traces of a bad room and turn it into something else using speakers, I try to
ask myself if the music we are proposing to perform has certain characteristics that
might benefit from the flaws present in the room. Will certain passages sound really
great if I just let them be what they are in a room that has way too much echo or
reverberation or would certain instruments sound great acoustically while others
might need a little help. This is the day to day decision making a sound engineer
goes through, especially working with instruments that are traditionally heard
acoustically and especially in the context of electro-acoustic music. Throughout my
years working with groups such as eighth blackbird, ICE, We Can and We Must, and
a plethora of other new music groups in Chicago, I have started to think of the
activity of sound engineering as a musical endeavor rather than a technical one
(though there are many technical elements to being a musician to be certain). In my
music making, I have designed works and activities that require an engineer/
performer and consider space to be an extremely expressive tool. Whenever
possible I like to work with multi-channel speaker systems where I can place
musicians in two or three dimensions rather than just in a stereo array and have
begun to conceive of works where musicians live within a fully three dimensional
or “acousmatic” sonic space. But there are definitely no halls that exist in Chicago,
and for that matter, not that many in the entire world, that can do such a thing. The
J Pritzker Pavilion, where I have had the pleasure to mix eighth blackbird twice as
well as Third Coast Percussion last summer, offers an opportunity to do something
almost like what I am talking about on a very LARGE scale, but there are no halls
where sound can come from above and below as well as front, back, left, and right.
So we decided we had to build one!
At HCL, Dan and Kyle and I spent many days in the process of planning out speaker
placement, running thousands of feet of cable, mounting speakers, finding power,
mapping out how sound would get from the source to the speaker, and then making
all the wires completely invisible so things like weddings and private events at HCL
could occur without cable clutter. Not an easy or fun task, but it WAS fun to find
out how HCL works as a sonic space. With two large reverberant rooms on the 1 st
floor, we found that not only were these rooms a perfect place for low frequencies,
but also added a nice natural reverberation to the entire space. We were also
very pleased to discover how much sound bleed occurs between the thin floors
separating the 1st and 2nd floor. Normally this would not be a desirable trait. For
our purposes, however, this feature makes it so that no matter where you are, up
or downstairs, you hear basically the same sound field with very little separation.
We had grand ideas that the room above the 2nd floor might do well as a chamber
for sounds to provide more vertical space to the sound field just as the bottom floor
provides vertical downward space but the floor on this level seemed to be a bit
more sturdy as well as the opening to that floor being very narrow and the space
itself being not so reverberant.
With this information, many conversations about how we conceived the
space sprung up between the composers and we began making drawings and
routing maps to create a consistent terminology to label all the speakers and
working method to set them in motion. After many experiments with different
driver and output device configurations, we were in business by the first week
of October making sound where we really started to hear what the room did. 10
speakers surround the listener on the 2nd floor. These speakers alternate being
near the ceiling or the floor on the 2nd level to add a layer of verticality to the sonic
space. 2 speakers (bass amps to be exact) line the bottom floor with one in the east
and one in the west room. One small speaker in the center of the space above the
stairs going from 2 to 1 and 2 small speakers mounted in the ceiling in the center
of the main area on floor 2 complete the vertical trajectory of sound. The ceiling
speakers reflect off of the ceiling on either side of a rafter giving them diffusion
throughout the room and a definite sense of vertical space.
During the first sonic experiments in the space, we started playing with pure sine
waves. It was then that we realized that certain frequencies seemed to come from
everywhere while certain frequencies had a very specific sense of directionality.
These frequencies are of course, the resonant frequencies of the room (meaning
frequencies that literally produce waves of the exact right length to fully resonate
in the space with no cancellation from a half completed wave or other sonic
interference). 440 hz was the basic resonant frequency but the same phenomenon
occurs around 880 and 1760 as well as 220 hz. Basically “A’s” of different octaves.
Music in “A” must sound really glorious in this place. Something to keep in mind for
future sponsored artists.
I created some short delays where each iteration is panned throughout the room
in an even distribution. When playing these same sine tones through the delays,
I discovered something really surprising and extraordinary but REALLY exciting.
When I improvised with the pitch of the sine tone I was creating, I noticed that
the sound literally appeared to travel throughout the space without me having to
change any of the settings. I also noticed that the delay contour of the sound seemed
to morph as I went from higher to lower frequencies. These two phenomena are
related. First, the sound seems to travel through the space with frequency simply
because we have built the system with lower capable speakers in the bottom of the
space (bass amps in the basement) and speakers with a higher frequency response
higher in the space. This means that lower sounds seem to suck downward in the
space as those ranges are not present in the higher speakers and then seem to move
upwards as those ranges are more pronounced in the speakers up high. Because
the delays are evenly distributed throughout the space, some delay iterations are
located in the lower speakers and some in higher speakers. That means that when
we make sounds that are lower through that delay, they appear to come only from
the lower speakers and thus reveal the delay iterations that are more present in
those speakers. When we play higher sounds, we reveal delay iterations mapped
to the higher speakers. That means by just changing the frequency of the sound
coming through the delays, we can fluidly manipulate the sound in both time and
space. I might just be a nerd, but I find this an extremely exciting possibility in
terms of musical expression.
Thus far, we have conducted 2 different improv sessions as well as the tweaking
and development of materials for set pieces by Kyle and Dan. This first included
Joey King (the M’s and Cloudbirds) on Bass, Nathaniel Butler on French Horn, and
myself on Roland Juno-2 with Dan at the helm of the system using Ableton. Dan
did a bang up job in a rush as I was slated to run the system for the first session
using some simple delays in MAX but as my computer was having some troubles
and Dan was ready with Ableton we decided to just go from where we were, with
musicians making noise and Dan programming as we played. The results were quite
spectacular with the French horn adding a pristine majesty to the low roar of the
bass guitar and distorted pad tones of the synth. The grand piano at HCL even made
a few sneak appearances.
The second session on October 20th featured Katie Young on bassoon, fellow HCL
sponsored artist Billie Howard on electric violin, and our own Kyle Vegter on Cello.
We also setup a keyboard and Dan and I switched off taking charge of the system
with Harley Gingras a student of Dan’s providing some pre-processing (so some
musicians were being fed into his computer first before going into the main sound
room system). Dan and I have developed two different ways of dealing with the
room given the general way both Ableton and MAX are structured. Dan has been
using a lot of built in processing and routing sound out the various outputs using
Ableton’s built in routing structure. I have been focusing a bit more on developing
integrated panning objects in MAX that I then use to create delays where each
iteration is in a slightly different vector of the space. Both of these methods resulted
in really interesting environments for the musicians and they were able to feel how
their sound traveled through the space as they played.
But they best way to describe the space is to listen to it. We managed to capture a
fairly clear picture of what happened on the 20th with Katie, Dan, Billie, Kyle and I.
Listen to it here or on Sound Cloud:
All in all, we are quite excited with how the space works and I for one in really
looking forward to hearing what Dan and Kyle have planned as they are both
composing full works for the space that will be premiered November 3 rd along with
3 short improvisations and works by other Chicago composers played back in the
1st Public Showing of the Sound Room
Saturday November 3rd
High Concept Laboratories
1401 W Wabansia
See the facebook invitation
MAKING MEANWHILE: One approach to making the concurrently happening happen, and the things learned from doing so
MANUAL CINEMA is a collaboration between puppeteers/graphic artists Julia Miller, Drew Dir and Sarah Fornace, with musician/composers Kyle Vegter and Ben Kauffman. Our process combines handmade shadow puppetry, cinematic motifs, and live sound manipulation to create immersive theatrical stories. Our tools are paper, acetate, ink, light, air pressure, and overhead projectors. We love dreamscapes, landscapes, sound-scapes, feet, hands, space, small delicate sounds, and animating the inanimate.
As both eighth blackbird’s office manager and Manual Cinema’s composer/ sound designer, this project was a bit of a shape shifter for me; at times I existed in its epicenter, at times I was huddled in its shadowy artistic periphery (pun intended). At all times though, it felt like something was happening, like a string of subtle, fortuitous alignments: waking up just before your alarm goes off, getting to the platform as the train is pulling up, snow on the day after your snow dream, etc. Then there’s the whole bit about getting to work with ALL of the artists you love and respect the most on the same project.
Meanwhile started as most Manual Cinema projects do, with a lot of talking. The more shows we make together, the longer we talk about them beforehand. I’m beginning to seriously worry if we’ll ever make another show, as the talking alone will take up most of our creative careers. We all have literary/ narrative/ storytelling backgrounds in some capacity and we all loooooove telling stories. Strong opinions/ attachments to plot points are bound to emerge and do emerge. Our process involves building, and re-building, and then re-imagining and THEN throwing the whole thing away and starting from nothing (and I don’t think any of us would have it any other way).
So there was the version with the abstract block main character (ala this) that carried the birds through a series of “meanwhiles,” the scene where the birds rushed through the streets as caped super heroes to get back to their instruments, the music edit where I tried to turn Hartke’s nuanced, beautiful piece into an action movie score, even the scene where Tim walked up the walls of his Raven-esque library, wind and rain pelting the windows.
Looking back, we started in a place of MOVEMENT and LOUD gestures and BIG stories, and BLAM moments. At some point though I think we realized that what we do best is slowly and subtly reveal complex and intention filled narratives, and that in the end, Hartke’s music does just that as well. It’s hard to imagine that in a piece titled Meanwhile: incidental music to imaginary puppet plays, the composer never saw (in his mind’s eye or otherwise) a puppet drama or two ensue.
In this pre-building stage we were working with a couple of conceptual starting points. First, that we wanted to show who the birds were as living-breathing-eating-laundry-doing humans. We wanted to go beyond the bird’s, “super-musician” personas, and pursue a more intimate portrait of each. In a video meant to promote an album, you certainly can’t ignore the title and album art of said album.
We loved working with what “Meanwhile” can mean, both in a narrative and a visual/ design sense. In the end we settled on a basic enough narrative: documenting what the birds do in their “meanwhile” space, the space between concerts/ recording sessions/ interviews. Naturally, they all live in one big Willy Wonka house of wonders with a tiny puppet rehearsal space in the attic. From there we let the music tell us what to do- as Hartke’s Procession builds in dynamic and harmonic complexity, so too would the situations of the birds, naturally revealing the supernatural elements of their various living situations.
Once we had a basic plot that we agreed upon, the experimenting began. Drew created at least 17 different sizes of lobster puppets, Julia experimented with the most convincing angle for clothes to spew forth from Tim’s possessed laundry machine, and Sarah contemplated bubble machines/ packing peanuts. We shot a TON of demo videos both at HCL and our new rehearsal space, trying to perfect the mini narratives of each room and how they would fit together into a cohesive story.
With shot lists in hand we packed up and moved into the beautiful, infinity-white-walled, video lab of the brand new and still sparkling Logan Center for the Arts at UChicago (both Manual Cinema and eighth blackbird happen to hold current ensemble-in-residence positions there). The place still has that new building smell, and its art making possibilities are endless, we can’t thank them enough for opening their barely hung doors to us. Each of the birds came in for a 2 hour shooting session during which Sarah and Julia coached each on how to interact with their shadow world/ lobster/ dog/ plant/mug/ IKEA chair, Drew tweaked puppets, I was a time watching production/ shoot manager, Lizi was our puppeteer (yes she was live puppetting Nick’s wall clock), and the illustrious Mel Gonzalez handled the camera. Shoots were long, with lots of setup, teardown, and tweaking along the way, luckily the Logan Center comes complete with sugar laden snack machines in the basement. I can’t honestly say what my favorite moment of the shooting process was, but I’ve got a short list:
-Matthew Duvall in a frilly apron happily and wholeheartedly doing battle with an imaginary lobster with an imaginary spoon.
-Tim’s off the cuff retaliation against his laundry machine, throwing clothes back into it/ onto Julia.
-Lisa bringing the same practice makes perfect approach to learning how to convincingly pet a puppet dog that she brings to playing piano.
-Recognizing Michael’s “I’m going to figure this out” face (usually reserved for website malfunctions and database problems) as he learned to use his entire body to throw/ lift chair parts from his chair box.
-take after take of Yvonne frrrrreaking out about the attack plant, Sarah yelling cues, “its everywhere!” “even in the corners!” “throw the scissors!”
-Nick’s ever calming reaction to the fact that he would be holding a paper “mug”, with smoking embers attached to it (for steam effects) with flammable glue, “oh ok great, no prob.”
We also had a final shoot, sans birds, to create the intro/ outro shots to the video. Drew constructed that tiny house by hand out of foam-core board, paint, and specially ordered christmas lights. He, Lizi, and Julia also constructed TINY (tiny) instruments for the attic.
Mel and the crew executing the ending pan, Sarah is controlling the tiny door from behind the house.
Lizi delicately placing the flute puppet.
Post production was a blur of edits, and re-edits, and re-re-edits with After Effects and color correction mixed in at some point. Many beers were consumed, even more coffee, and at least a few terrible-barely-food-late-night snacks. Julia and Sarah took the reigns with Drew and I helping/ offering comments and opinions when necessary. Lessons learned: do not edit the same material simultaneously on two different computers, After Effects is hard, hard drive space- infinite hard drive space.
I’ve seen the birds in rehearsal, for years now in fact. I’ve seen them work through musical and personal issues as a cohesive and compassionate unit, I’ve seen them win GRAMMYs, and major residencies, and through all manner of setbacks. On this project though, I got to see them as individuals, as the parts that make the whole, and as artists willing to throw themselves head long into a project that was more than distant from what they know and train for.
I also got to see Manual Cinema, the artists with which I hope to spend my creative life, tossed into the deep end of a new medium; when eighth blackbird asks you to make a video, you’ve got to learn how to make videos, and quick. I watched us use everything (and then some) that we’ve learned together over the past few years. I watched each of us struggle as individual artists, and I watched as we bound together to support, nurture, and push each other when necessary.
The moral of the story is that all of the artists involved in this project, however accomplished and experienced, were put just outside of their comfort zones. We were all forced to contend with the unknown, with learning a new skill, with the ever intoxicating and terrifying confrontation of the blank page (and this time the page was shaped like nothing we’d seen before). What we came up with is something that I hope we can all be proud of for years to come. I personally emerged humbled, artistically satisfied, and obscenely content to be working on a daily basis with the people that I work with.
Pierrot lunaire is a defining work for eighth blackbird. The ensemble’s instrumentation derives from this seminal work, the premiere of which is often regarded as the beginning of the new music milieu we still operate within. Our dear friend Lucy Shelton sent around some wonderful ideas for how to celebrate the centennial, reposted below in full. Above is a short video about our most recent version of Pierrot, a stark and stunning staging conceived and directed by Mark DeChiazza.
Yes indeed, this Tuesdayis the night to celebrate all things PIERROT!!!!!!!
Here is my recommendation of activities and thoughts for the whole day…
[repeat as many times as you like]
1) commune with the moon, (though not a full one tonight) drink wine, giving the moon your toast
2) buy a bouquet of white roses and pull off the petals, strewing them delicately around you
3) wear special Pierrot make-up
4) do your laundry
5) waltz down the street, alone, or with a stranger
6) climb up on a table or piano bench and slide from highest note to lowest (=bass clarinet envy)
7) gaze at the moon for 4’33” of silence
8) make big shadows on the walls by waving your arms
9) laugh so hard that you cry
10) wear something ruby-colored
11) hold a tomato in your hand and squeeze it slowly over a bowl (wear an apron, and wash your hands first so you can eat the mess)
12) gossip as fast as you can for 30 seconds
13) back to the moon, of course. Use binoculars to see its shape.
14) recite a favorite poem, then give your toast to the poet.
15) all about sighs - voiceless and voiced, all kinds of emotions, but mostly nostalgia.
16) light several candles (in lieu of smoking a pipe)
17) talk “in canon” with a friend (with or without warning)
18) wear something black
19) stand on one leg and say “pizzicato” (do this more than once)
20) float a boat in the bathtub
21) breathe in the centennial air and salute the moon 21 times
WE THANK YOU, PIERROT!
I hope you will all focus on PIERROT wherever you are,
and thus we will all be connected for this 100th birthday celebration.
Cheers to you all,