collaboration for Spoken Word Artist and Pianist
text by Warren Arcand & Michael Park
commissioned by Russell Wallace for Neo-Nativism vs. New Music
The collaboration really allowed me to explore my creative role as a composer-pianist in collaboration with a truly gifted performance artist. The text Warren sent me was an exploration of the word, and idea of, red, with a well positioned tangent version of "a man walked into a bar...".
In response, I thought about what red would be in terms of musical nomenclature. We have letter names for A-through-G, but what about the rest of the alphabet. I composed a companion text about the spelling of red and composed a framework for a 1940's pub style improvisation.
How the texts and the music fit together was a function of the live performance, trusting the timing and intuition of both performance artists. I couldn't be happier with the resulting performance and hope that a recording will be available soon.