Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Ascending Darkness - beginnings

Now that Sympho's Ascending Darkness is coming up (on May 8 in NYC), I figured I'd share something of its origins.  I've always been fascinated by the idea of a concert in the dark, so this one has been on the slate for years now.

About a year ago, though, I was struck by how light/dark opposition might be stretched -- in the concert context -- into a land of conscious/unconscious thought, or awake/dreaming.  That led to the "Aha!" moment that is about to culminate in Ascending Darkness (subtitled "Soundtrack to a Dream").

In my mind (and my mind only, unless someone else is drawn there by chance), the dramatic arc of this concert is very much informed by the writings of Joseph Campbell - specifically "Hero With a Thousand Faces."  It's a journey into the un- (or sub-) conscious, something akin to a quest.  With that said, I think the only important thing to know going into a concert like this is that you have the opportunity to make it into your own journey, your own quest.

The music and lighting are designed to draw you into a quasi-sleep state -- not that you'll be out cold, snoring, but more like withdrawn from the outside and paying serious attention to things sonic.  Once you're there, each piece develops the dream further.  Whatever associations or images you come up with along the way, they're all valid.  This is YOUR dream, remember?  One of the interesting things to know about archetypal hero quests/dream journeys is that they all share the same broad-based sequence of events, regardless of culture or time period.  Given that, it's likely that the sequence of associations and images you experience during this concert will be similar to what others experience.  Interesting post-concert discussion fodder, we hope!

Back to writing music for this.  More soon...

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