MUSIC for dance

subterranean dances (2016) [arr.]

[arrangement for chamber orchestra of Subterranean Rumble and Sway]
The New York City Subway is the lifeblood, the nervous system, of the city. It connects people and places in a frantic web of constant commotion. In a city that is a sea of people who remain shut off from one another, this underground world is the river that channels them together creating opportunity for a great deal of human interaction… occasionally too much. This piece began its life as a chamber dance work that celebrated and explored these interactions. That version of the music was created in collaboration with choreographer Evan Fisk in November of 2015 as part of the Juilliard School’s Choreographers and Composers program. The music is made up of five distinct areas that are connected by hushed, chattering “tunnels” of indeterminate musical textures. Each passage is distinct, but all of them are derived in some way from a singular musical idea that is pulled directly from the sounds of the subway itself. This idea is a representation of the high pitched squeal made by the newer trains as they leave a station. That mechanical whine outlines the pitches F#, E, D#, F, D#, F, E, F#, E, F. This series of intervallic relationships is utilized throughout the piece in many different ways to create a melodic and textural sound world that captures people’s interactions in this environment.
      - June, 2016; New York, NY


The 2015 Choreo-Comp season, including Subterranean Rumble & Sway, has been documented as a part of Juilliard's Open Studios series. To get an inside look at the making of this project, subscribe to Juilliard Open Studios.