How do you guide a listener’s ears and eyes while still leaving freedom to explore a space? How do the sounds of an audience and the environment affect composition and the performance of new music? How does a piece of music capture the essence of a room in a home across cultural lines?
“In House” contains works by five composers, each designed for a different room of the home. Gelsey Bell’s “Bathroom Songs” for solo vocalist wrestles with how to explore the private and intimate space of the bathroom in the presence of an audience, using extended vocal technique to mark out the fabled idea of a private language. Paul Pinto’s “Music for Your Living Room” for solo clarinet investigates the “living” of the room and Erin Rogers’s “Bedroom Sounds” for violin and boombox tackles the structures of dream space. Isabel Castellvi’s “Music for a Quartet of Speaking Pot Players” examines how to make musical instruments out of items found in the kitchen, spending the duration of the event setting up and tuning each performer’s instruments before the performance of the piece towards the end. Alejandro Acierto’s “Memorial for _____” uses a series of constructed, noise-making kinetic sculptures in the hallways and stairways to track our perceptual attention in transitional spaces. Finally the ensemble created the “Garden Piece” as the event’s finale, whose problem lay simply in transferring our sonically sensitive and playful techniques for investigating the home to our audience members.
The pieces were designed to be able to be performed in any home, allowing for each individual site to afford additional information to each piece’s investigation.