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Reclaimed Timber

Reimagined performances of Michael Gordon's "Timber" for percussion sextet, using materials from abandoned and vacant homes

Overview

Following successful performances in Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Adam Rosenblatt (Baltimore), Arx Duo (Seattle), and Beyond This Point (Chicago) will collaborate to present several reimagined performances of Michael Gordon’s monumental percussion sextet Timber in Seattle from October 19 to 26, 2020. For Reclaimed Timber, the ensemble performs entirely on pieces of wood gathered from abandoned, vacant, or soon-to-be-demolished homes in each host city.

 

Reclaimed Timber is initially being performed in four cities: Baltimore, Washington DC, Chicago, and Seattle. Thus far, our group has mounted successful performances in Baltimore and Washington DC, and we have an upcoming performance in Chicago on June 28, 2020. We are now seeking support for performances in Seattle.

 

For each performance of Reclaimed Timber, the ensemble searches the host city’s neglected lots, vacant homes, and abandoned buildings to uncover the required instruments: pieces of wood, weathered as a result of unequal growth and opportunity for the city’s residents. Thus, each performance of Reclaimed Timber will have a “sound” unique to each city’s housing history, giving audiences a new perspective on issues of housing, homelessness, and displacement. The houses and buildings themselves become the main voice of the performances, telling the ongoing story of cities’ struggles to provide adequate shelter for all of their residents. In the case of Seattle, we are expecting to find and use mostly construction debris for our instruments, instead of older wood from historic homes. This will likely highlight the rapid growth the city is currently experiencing which may not be benefiting all residents equally.

 

Reclaimed Timber also includes a reactive lighting installation that visually reflects the musical structure of the piece and fills the performance space with dynamic lighting. Designed by Baltimore-based visual artists Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormick, this visual installation comprises dozens of paper lantern “houses” placed throughout the performance space. These lanterns are illuminated by more than 5000 LED lights, which are directly activated by contact microphones on each of the six pieces of wood. The patterns of illumination change over the course of the piece, reflecting the compositional structure.

 

The performers have confirmed support from two Seattle-based advocacy groups: Facing Homelessness, and their subsidiary organization The BLOCK Project. We will work closely with these organizational partners to engage the local community and ensure that all performances of Reclaimed Timber have as great an impact as possible in spreading awareness of housing and homelessness issues.

 

As we have discovered in previous performances, the mesmerizing, immediate, and visceral experience which Reclaimed Timber evokes, translates to a new and profound awareness of issues that affect tens of thousands of people in American cities every day.

Project Media

Excerpts of Reclaimed Timber performance in Washington, DC
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Excerpts from a Reclaimed Timber performances outside of Washington DC. The LED lights are directly activated by the vibrations of the wood using contact microphones and software.
The audience was encouraged to move about during the performance to experience the visuals and sound from any location they chose.
Due to space restrictions, the LED light installation was placed in a single block.
The wood was gathered from vacant homes in Baltimore. We will visit similar locations in Seattle to gather new pieces of wood for our performances there.

Excerpts of Reclaimed Timber performance in Baltimore
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Excerpts from Reclaimed Timber performance in Baltimore.

Our Seattle performances will match the set-up in this video. The audience will be able to walk and sit amongst the LED installation, and be able to experience the performance from all angles.

Start and End Dates

09/01/202110/31/2021

Location

Seattle, Washington

Project Created By

Baltimore, Maryland
Baltimore-based percussionist and performer Adam Rosenblatt has a penchant for finding interesting and uncommon ways to present and perform contemporary music. He has a keen interest for growing an interdisciplinary performance practice, believing that a mix of media and art forms can speak more directly and powerfully to our current modern context. Adam frequently performs…

In Collaboration With

Performer
Chicago, Illinois
Performer

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