$12,320 more will enable us to complete the recording, which is necessary for use in live performance and installation. Express your support of independent creative art whose effect is to incite change.
In the words of one donor: “This wonderful piece of music with its visual component has the ability to educate people about issues as large as the industrial rape of the landscape and the environment. We have visited parts of the country that have been ‘saved’ by fracking, and the people with jobs aren’t looking down the future at what they are doing to the earth.” By addressing the visceral, personal experiences of the disaster, Aberfan investigates how art, together with technology, can be used for experiential healing, while implying the disaster’s universal relevance as an almost-forgotten humanitarian crime. ACT NOW.
On this “Cyber Monday”, as commercialism reaches its height for the year, please consider the value of creative art in your world.
What does the enduring artistic and social significance of a large creative work such as Aberfan mean to you?
Age-old issues of greed and power, bureaucratic indifference and the exploitation of people and nature as commodities, in combination with the intimate scale of this tragedy, resonate beyond time and place when captured in art. What is this worth?
Here is one frame of the footage that I discovered at the AP Archives that had no sound — 5 minutes of film taken at the mass burial of 81 children and one adult on October 27, 1966.
“Loving Shepherd of Thy Sheep” was sung at the service on the hillside. Here is a short demo excerpt from Aberfan, Final Hymn:
My composition Aberfan (7 pianos, voice and tools of rescue) is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Contributions on behalf of Aberfan must be made payable to NYFA, and are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Aberfan (7 pianos, percussion, voice and tools of rescue) is an elegy not only for the people of a village who suffered the loss of a generation and the wounded soul of the Welsh who saw their beautiful country destroyed when the coal mines came to the valleys, but for our world, besieged by unbridled industry pillaging the land and its people, exploiting riches for a few. Aberfan is our entire structure under collapse, the condemnation of a corrupted capitalism imposed upon the world, the catastrophe, the truth of our entrapment in a world run on power, violence and commodity, reducing to rubble all that is sacred.
Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA). Contributions are tax deductible. Please help us make this recording with your donation.
Over the next few posts, I would like to give you samples of piano music from our recent, first recording sessions, in order of their appearance in the piece.
In the beginning is “Rain Sequence”. Here is an excerpt in which you hear the gentle, gradual layering of pianos one upon another, coming to represent “over a week of heavy rainfall” prior to the Aberfan Disaster:
Both Michael and I are deeply excited to continue recording, but we’ll need your support to do so. Everydonation is greatly appreciated.
What an incredible, full experience to start recording!
Driving into Boston, walking through Michael’s large maze of a studio for the first time, finding the piano had a wonderful touch that was not too hard for my hands, recording ’til near midnight, leaving to find the Walker Center in Auburndale, Newton, where I was to stay overnight, then coming back into the studio on the green line the next morning after 3 1/2 hours sleep.
Michael and I worked on one musical sequence at a time, talking about it some, recording, then listening. We accomplished an incredible amount — 1/3 of the piano parts — over those 11 hours! A musical sample will be posted soon.
Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Contributions are tax deductible.
Going into Boston tomorrow to begin recording Aberfan with Michael. Almost hard to believe. Excited!
Here is a demo excerpt from the initial “Rain Sequence”, written for seven pianos on the same part at different tempos. Seven is representative of Tip No. 7, the one that collapsed:
Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Contributions are tax deductible. Please become a part of this endeavor by making a donation. One specific, immediate need is payment for the piano tuner: $125
Little did I know then that producing was one of his passions, too. In fact, last year I had a dream of the most fabulous rhythms being played during a recording session of one of my songs. Michael was producing. He was saying “Yes! Yes! Yes!” Even inside the dream, I knew of it’s providential message.
We’ll be working at his studio in Boston, Mix One.
Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501 (c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Contributions are tax deductible. This recording cannot happen without your support. Every donation helps!