Swing Space Program
Governors Island, Building 110


These are experiments in synesthesia. While I was in residence at Governors Island, I spent a lot of time playing the saxophone in the defunct ammunitions magazine in Fort Jay. From November 2010 to May 2011 the National Parks Service planned renovations in the space, so I was unable to continue playing there. In order to keep composing music in the munitions magazine, I came up with a series of composition strategies that I could perform outside of it during this period of denied access. First I assigned color values to musical notes and keys according to my grapheme-color synesthesia. Then I came up with a structural graphic for the Fort Jay magazine and made a series of compositions for various instruments for that space based on an initial drawing. I called these compositions Drawings To Be Listened To. I also wrote a series of poems with the colors replacing the letters. Then I performed these poems in a series called Poems To Be Read Through A Saxophone where I read/spoke the poems into the mouthpiece of the horn until the words become notes.


David Colosi, C, 2011

shows leadership, central, anchor, calm;
will step up to handle a situation;
like a doctor on an airplane who volunteers to help a sick passenger;
has detective qualities, like Poirot;
the type of good Samaritan you want to be present when you suffer an accident;


David Colosi, Lonnie's Lament, 2011

Song to be played in an area where Lonnie can lament without interruption

David Colosi, Tugboat, 2011

Like a tugboat pushing a driving range, we all have something we would rather be doing


David Colosi, G#, 2011

hard edged;
foresty green with grassy green brightness; direct;
likes to have the first word, the last word, and all words in between;
insistent and confident with itself, but more often than not embarrassingly wrong in its assumptions, opinions, and decisions


David Colosi, keys, 2011


David Colosi, B, 2011

drawn out, deep, persistent and full, sustaining and demanding presence, focused;
not much difference between inner and outer expression and appearance;
nothing between the lines to read, what you see is what you get


David Colosi, Oar, 2011

Composition to be played for a man in a brass mask riding a cloud using a hoe as an oar,
to be played by 3 instruments of different keys in their respective base keys


David Colosi, Scarlett Johansson, 2011

I have certain days when I see a lot of people who look like Scarlett Johansson



David Colosi, Ab, 2011


round; red with a light blue corset squeezing gently;
warm, friendly, yet wise with a layer of understatement;
knows how to poignantly articulate a phrase;
impulsive with an air of sensible caution;
knows when something might cause trouble and has the foresight to hold back;
carefree and confident inner security


David Colosi, A#, 2011

like a red hot fire ball with direction; pointed, aimed;
like a hot tamale; cinnamon flavored with a pinch and bite;
very lean, trim, almost complete opposite of Bb;
feisty and direct, not one to hold its tongue, a direct hitter without forethought;
refined beauty and strict sexuality;



David Colosi, C major, 2011

Key of C (with phantom notes, relations to families, as friends who have died or friends who have never existed, imaginary friend)



David Colosi, F#, 2011

like a muskrat with sharp teeth or a light brown Nutria, definitely of the rodent family;
F# and G have a relationship where F# jabs at G, pokes at it incessantly, nags it;
could be a pet;
displays its confidence and 90% of the time is right but not vindictive about it, the other 10% is over negligible things



David Colosi, Fish, 2011

Composition for a fish vomiting blood to be played twice:
first, frenetically witth a water instrument;
second, with a wind instrument thinning to black



David Colosi, Fmajor, 2011

F major


David Colosi, Db, 2011

fat, dark, like Nyquil, fluid, dense, but less dense than Jello;
jovial; possibly overweight but not hung up about it;
has a latent cutting wit that, when it occasionally rears its head, others take offense;


David Colosi, G major, 2011

Gb major


David Colosi, E, 2011

bright, sunny, illuminates, positive, radiant, friendly, attractive;
good-natured though sometimes its good-naturedness can be off-putting in its excess;
90% honestly genuine and warm, 10% feigned to please;
good to be in a relationship with: intimate core, the deeper you get, the more seductive, mysterious and lovable



David Colosi, Walrus, 2011

Composition to be played by 2 mice, a chimp and a walrus on a Saturday in June
to a crowd of adults being forced to witness something they absolutely don't want to see


David Colosi, Eb, 2011

warm and soft, fluffy, more cushiony (than its counterpart D#);
open and free about itself; carefree in its self-confidence;
easy going, not too many hang ups; pleasant to spend long amounts of time with;
always nice to see after a long absence;


David Colosi, G, 2011G
vocal, always clearing throat, robust, almost succinct;
(like C with a thing in its throat, like D but clearer, less fat, and more direct);
plenty of preliminary things to say but doesn’t find the point;
good for troubleshooting in advance, will lay all opinions and scenarios on the table, but can’t be relied on to choose one or the best



David Colosi, Bbmajor, 2011

Bb major


David Colosi, A, 2011

exterior: hot, hot tempered, hot looking, on fire, red with passion, quick to react or respond,
impulsive, sensuous, sexual, naturally seductive without manipulation, attractive to all;
interior: soft, sensitive; when one gets intimate with A, a lot of love is shared,
relationships can be hard because the exterior inspires jealousy; polar;



David Colosi, Fella, 2011

Fella By Moonlight:
Composition to be played for one man in a hat with a book and a peg leg on the moon from the munitions magazine in Fort Jay, Governors Island according to a score based on a color grapheme synesthesia code of notes in relation to colors divided according to designated room positions



David Colosi, Ab major, 2011

Ab major




David Colosi, Eb major, 2011

Eb major


David Colosi, F, 2011

more subdued than E, less leadership than C;
confident, poignant, good planner, considers all aspects before deciding;
(could be a pet); depth of character; inner strength carries weight; confident with self-identity;
understated and nothing on the sleeve;
available to those patient, caring and willing to approach and participate with



David Colosi, baseball, 2011

Composition for a young baseball fan with a shit-eating grin eager to run as swiftly as a fish


David Colosi, G major, 2011

G major


David Colosi, Compositions veil, 2011

Compositions veil



David Colosi, D major, 2011

D major


David Colosi, Gb, 2011

surrounded by a loose corset, an airy silk shirt with a zipper that is just at the edge of too tight;
G has some weight, if it lost just a bit, it would feel more confident;
nice to vacation with, but mildly begrudges day-to-day; prefers and enjoys a weekend; makes a good parent



David Colosi, AC, 2011

Composition for Gravity:
To be played by a single air conditioner in accidental rapid descent from a third story window into a, luckily, vacant backyard.
To be performed one time and one time only.
(Performance took place on Monday, May 02, 2011, 12:00am - Brooklyn, NY)

David Colosi, D, 2011

dark and deep, full, complex, richly full (sometimes restricted because of its intensity);
not the type you want to make angry;
will attack in defense with full power, stops at nothing for revenge (when justified);
the one you want on your side and not against you


David Colosi, Ice Cream, 2011

Composition to be played to earn an ice cream cone.
Performance must continue after the prize is earned for the duration of the ice cream cone
to be performed by instruments requiring two hands and a mouth



David Colosi, A major, 2011

A major


David Colosi, Bb, 2011

fattest; jiggles when it moves; vibrates whether high or low; rotund with a corset, not too tight, just snug;
considerate, puts thought and care into what it will say next; conscious of offending;
tries to be inclusive; can easily overpower with its charismatic dominance;
makes final decision by putting a foot down;


David Colosi, D#, 2011D#
dark and edgy, fat; soft inside with an edgy exterior; confused about questions of identity;
rigidly defensive about its masculinity (whether male or female), but displays a subconscious femininity;
defensive to the extreme of phobia; defensiveness overcompensates for what it doesn’t want to admit


David Colosi, Kite, 2011

Composition for a figure mistaken to be an elephant wearing a snakeskin hat partially obscured by a brick wall.
To be performed only by wind instruments or instruments of the wind



David Colosi, E major, 2011

E major


David Colosi, Compositions base, 2011

Compositions base



David Colosi, Db major, 2011


Db major


David Colosi, Governors Island series, Fort Jay, 2011

Composition scored for the munitions magazine inside Fort Jay [Governors Island]
to be performed during the renovation period between November 2010 - May 2011 when access is not permitted


David Colosi, F# major, 2011

F# major



David Colosi, Compositions focus, 2011

Compositions focus



David Colosi, B major, 2011

B major


David Colosi, Eraser, 2011I reassemble words from the eraser crumbs left from the sentence before


David Colosi, Cb major, 2011

Cb major


David Colosi, C#, 2011

sharp, brown, edgy, direct, curt, open, hands-free; like a music conductor; highly organized, skilled at efficiency;
knows what it takes and how to get the job done; a genuine leader with efficient results;
has the deserved respect of its peers, subordinates, and colleagues;
makes final decisions with reasoned persuasion;



David Colosi, C# major, 2011

C# major