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DAVID COLOSI : NOLAN PARK TREE COMPOSITION
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3DLIT

colosi

LOWER MANHATTAN CULTURAL COUNCIL
Swing Space Program
Governors Island, Building 110


2010

Between the years of 1836-1878 a military “School of Music Practice,” housed in the South Battery on Governors Island, taught enlisted boys to play the bugle, fife and drums for daily life and war skirmishes. On becoming an artist-in-residence, I took this history as an opportunity to learn to play the saxophone. While not used for these purposes, the saxophone debuted in military bands but later became known for its free and solo voice. Like the saxophone, Governors Island today is making a transition away from a military establishment and into an arts destination and public park. To exploit this parallel I began concocting ways to reanimate the island’s musical memory.

For this project I used the trees in Nolan Park as data to write a score with. Inspired by the idea of sonic measuring, I chose a random “sax sounding platform” and measured the distance to each tree from that point. From this measurement I derived a note within the range of a tenor saxophone from a low A (Bb played against the thigh) to high into the altissimo range. I measured the circumference of each tree and used this data to derive the weight of the note (whole, half, quarter, etc.). Spinning a line clockwise from the “sax sounding platform” on the drawings, I wrote the notes in the order in which they hit the line. In the spirit of Earthworks, I created an installation in my studio to draw the viewers' attention to my actions that took place outdoors. The audio is me playing the score and the camera is spinning on the “sax sounding platform.” In an ideal performance, one tenor sax player plays the piece while spinning on the “sax sounding platform” and circular breathing. I'm not advanced enough to circular breath or to hit the altissimo notes with the exception of two squeakers. Therefore ten notes may be missing in the score and I edited it to make it continuous. My other saxophone projects from Governors Island are also on this website.

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Nolan Park, Governors Island, New York, 2010

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Note range plan

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Note distance from Sax Sounding Platform

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Nolan Park, Governors Island, New York, 2010


David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Note circumference (based on bell height in relation to my body in playing position)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Tree type (for approximate density for note bending decisions)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Nolan Park Tree Composition installed in Governors Island studio, LMCC Arts Center, 2010

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Note designations (based on distance and note range plan, sharps and flats determined by proximity to line)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Note weight designations (based on circumference ratio to note duration)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Nolan Park Tree Composition installed in Governors Island studio, LMCC Arts Center, 2010

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Note color (based on grapheme-color synesthesia, for quicker note recognition)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Composition, first version

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Nolan Park, Governors Island, New York, 2010

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Circular score

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Complete score (page 1 of 2)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Complete score (page 2 of 2)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Nolan Park Tree Composition installed in Governors Island studio, LMCC Arts Center, 2010

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Note designations (based on distance and note range plan, sharps and flats determined by proximity to line)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2011

Note weight designations (based on circumference ratio to note duration)

 

David Colosi, Nolan Park Tree Composition, 2010

Nolan Park Tree Composition installed in Governors Island studio, LMCC Arts Center, 2010

 

Nolan Park Tree Composition, Vimeo, 2010

 

 

 

 


 

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© David Colosi