Northbound (2016)


Even the shortest of train trips can be exciting. Changes in scenery, passengers, and sounds, each leg and stop has its own character and mood. At the encouragement of Patrick Greene, one of the curators of the Transit Interpretation Project (TrIP), I took a northbound SunRail train from its southern most point to its final northern destination with the plan to create a musical composition relating to the experience. Along the way, I used an omni-directional microphone to record the sounds heard while on the train. At each arrival and departure point, I created markers in my digital audio workstation to denote the twelve stations on the northbound route. These markers are used to create formal structure within the work (the full trip is just over an hour and two-minutes long). The end result is a live performance composition utilizing the processed field recording from the trip, composed electronic playback, and live acoustic improvised percussion sounds. The premiere performance took place at The Gallery at Avalon Island (now CityArtsIn-Between Series on March 14, 2016.

The entirety of the work uses an arc structure. The initial departure and the final arrival movements bookend the piece as Prelude and Postlude music, respectively. Fantasia movements feature definite pitched instruments, such as the vibraphone and other tuned metals, while Rhapsody movements utilize indefinite pitched instruments most commonly associated with a common drum set. Impromptu movements utilize a combination of definite and indefinite pitched instruments and are unaccompanied by electronic playback.

This project was recognized by the Orlando Weekly, receiving the “Best City Soundtrack” award. It was also been featured by the Orlando Sentinel and in an episode of Intersection hosted by Matthew Peddie on 90.7 WMFE.

The movements are as follows:

Prelude: Sand Lake Road to Orlando Health/Amtrak
Fantasia: Orlando Health/Amtrak to Church Street
Rhapsody: Church Street to Lynx Central
Impromptu: Lynx Central to Florida Health Village
Rhapsody: Florida Health Village to Winter Park
Fantasia: Winter Park to Maitland
Impromptu: Maitland to Altamonte Springs
Fantasia: Altamonte Springs to Longwood
Rhapsody: Longwood to Lake Mary
Impromptu: Lake Mary to Sanford
Postlude: Sanford to DeBary

This video is from the premiere performance on March 14, 2016. I performed it at the then Gallery at Avalon Island (now CityArtsIn-Between Series, a monthly concert series that takes place between gallery exhibits.

I gave another round of performances around Orlando in October 2016. This next video is a performance I gave at the Timucua Arts Foundation “White House” on October 30, 2016.

In December 2016, I did a session interview with Matthew Peddie and Brendan Byrne for their Intersection show. He can hear the full radio feature here. This was an excerpt performance for the radio show and was filmed in the percussion studio at the University of Central Florida.