Saturday, April 7, 2012

TwtrSymphony: 1st Piece is in the Hands of the Musicians

My approach to this first piece

TwtrSymphony is a microcosm of Twitter in many ways. We are a collection of musicians wanting to "discuss" a topic, where "discuss" is music rather than words. The instrumentation isn't what you would find in a standard orchestra, but then the people you might meet at a party aren't the same from one party to the next. Twitter is a collection of conversations, a collection of different people, all there to have a good time, but from a diverse set of backgrounds and experiences. TwtrSymphony is much the same.

Therefore, what we ended up with are some standard instruments, violins and cellos, trombone and French horns, flutes and bassoons. But we've also added guitars (classical and electric) and saxophones. Not unheard of in the orchestra, but also not among the common instruments you would expect to see in every concert hall around the world. We're not a common orchestra.

With this collection of instruments and some very enthusiastic musicians, I wanted the first piece to be something each of them would find music fun to play, something to feel their part makes a difference to the whole and yet also captures the concise nature of Twitter. Except for the strings, each part is unique; each part has a time when what it's doing is unique in the mix. Not every instrument has a solo moment, but they all have a chance to shine.

As we are attempting to do something new, a collaboration of a large group of instruments, where the musicians are recording in a variety of different locations, using various types of hardware/software in a broad range of environments, the music needs to come out of the gate saying, "We're here!" The title rather sums up that attitude for me: The Hawk Goes Hunting. This is a piece that says we're aiming at being more than just unique, we are interested in being incredible, something everyone is going to be talking about. We want to be the meme on Twitter in late April. We want to be the topic of discussion at the next League of American Orchestras General Meeting. We want to be the party that everyone is excited to join. The conversation that sticks in the memory. We are "hunting" all these things and so the first music, with it's bold, heroic sound signals our intent: TwtrSymphony intends on soaring!




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