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Reading the Landscape

Performances of original graphic scores that respond directly to the landscape

The Latest Update

Reading the Landscape NYC Concert, May 2!

Posted on April 17, 2019 by Nathan Hall

I’m super excited to announce that scores and compositions from this residency, ‘Reading the Landscape’, will be world-premiered by the NYC chamber group Tenth Intervention! Featuring piano, violin, and saxophone, two recent chamber works from Nathan Hall, and more. Scores in book form will also be available for purchase at the event! 

The concert is on Thursday May 2 at 8pm at DiMenna Center for Classical Music, NYC.

For more information and ticket link: https://www.facebook.com/events/624718448001109/

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Residency, scores, and performance

Posted on January 24, 2019 by Nathan Hall

‘Reading the Landscape’ has been growing and evolving wonderfully!

I completed an extraordinary two-month residency in Seyðisfjörður, Iceland, in October and November 2018. There I created a set of graphic scores and other works (performances, watercolors) that will be bound into a small book for patrons. This time in Iceland was unforgettable and not only did I step outside my comfort zone for creativity, I also made some great new friends and explored new places.

Tenth Intervention will be playing these graphic scores in a special concert in New York City on May 2nd, 2019 at the Dimenna Center for Classical Music. The ensemble will feature piano, violin, and saxophone. 

I also recently taught classes of 4th through 6th graders about my works from this project, at an elementary school in Littleton, Colorado. It was great to get some feedback on my work from very discerning and open-minded young musicians!

Overview

I am creating a book of original scores that can be performed by any group, musicians or non-musicians. Inspired by the late composer Pauline Oliveros and her Sonic Meditations, I will travel to Iceland to work with the small town of Seyðisfjörður and photograph landscapes there. I have received a residency at Skaftfell Art Center to create new works from October 1 to November 30, 2018. The works I make there, along with basic text instructions, will act as  musical scores. For example, I could draw patterns in a snowfield and each pathway will represents a musical line. Or I might superimpose a music staff onto a lava field, and every time a large rock lands on a line, a musician would play a note. Even the changing colors of the northern lights could signify real-time changes in instrumental timbre and tempo. Cross-cultural exchange between America and Iceland has continually fueled my work, ever since I was a Fulbright Fellow in Iceland in 2011.

At the end of November, the residents of Seyðisfjörður will help me solidify a set of 10 to 15 music scores and ready them for the general public. All the works will be then bound into a paperback book of sheet music that also functions as a beautiful visual artwork.

The book of music will then be brought back to the States where several groups will perform it. Denver-based new music group Playground Ensemble will perform the works at Boulder Public Library in early 2019, where I was recently Maker in Residence, as well as in a free concert at Mutiny Information Café in Denver. Part of these concerts will be traditional, with chamber players on stage and projections of the scores on a screen. The other part will involve community participation, and the audiences themselves will be the performers of the music, guided by the ensemble as coaches. Playground will then bring the scores to Denver area school groups as part of their K-12 education outreach programming.

In February-March of 2019, the New York City group Tenth Intervention and their audience will perform the works at the DiMenna Center for Classical Music. Each ensemble will have a very different interpretation of the music, as will their audiences.

The funds for this project will go directly to the musicians involved: the composer for creating the work, the performers who will bring it to life, and a rental fee for a New York City performance space. Reading the Landscape will function both as a tribute to a delicate ecosystem that few people get to see, a translation of a physical space into sonic performances, and a catalyst for transcendent and adventurous experiences by everyone involved.

Project Media

The Unfurling
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A community participation project linking graphic scores, improvisation, community participation, and installation. Library visitors added large abstract gestures onto a giant scroll of paper that were then interpreted by musicians. A project as Maker in Residence at the Boulder Public Library, with live performances from Playground Ensemble.

Mountains and Rivers
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Features: Nathan Hall

A choral work celebrating the majesty of Colorado, commissioned for the opening ceremony of the 2016 GALA Festival, July 2, 2016. Commissioned by GALA Choruses. 400+ singers from Colorado’s LGBT choruses, two trumpets, and handbell choir. Composed for the site of the Denver Performing Art Center Galleria balconies. Nathan Hall, composer, director, and conductor.

20 Works in 20 Minutes
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Many of the features in the work of artist Clyfford Still have correlations in music and sound. Based on this idea, I held workshops at the Still Museum to collaborate with museum visitors and “sonify” their ideas about the musical potential of his artoworks. Playground Ensemble then performed 20 short works, with visual elements like color, texture, size, and gesture translated into musical elements. The music was performed in a live “walking tour” in front of their original artworks.

Start and End Dates

01/14/201905/03/2019

Location

Denver, Colorado

2 updates
Last update on April 17, 2019

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Denver, Colorado
Nathan Hall’s works have been called “fearless” in their multifaceted expressions of the composer’s personal and musical identity. Nathan uses music as a artistic medium to explore a variety of fields including science, nature, the fine arts, history, and sexuality. There is an element of humanity present in all of Nathan’s works, from his traditional classical…

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New York City, New York
Denver, Colorado
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