Aberfan articulates a broadening and deepening of artistic practice, far beyond what I’ve ever experienced, yet is inclusive of everything before it — the search, over years, for my own creative voice in composition. Propelling itself through me, Aberfan is its own whole, symbol of what is most lacking in our world, as in our families and deep within ourselves, natural expression is desecrated and buried, just as our land is leveled.
Here is an excerpt of 2 pianos from Aberfan, the aftermath of a man-made disaster, a mix of rain and rubble.
Aberfan is a sponsored project of New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization. Make your contribution here.
Rain Sequence — an intuitive formula of prime numbers, of fate and its irrevocable movement — increasing failure, descent and dissolution —
The disaster itself occurred on 21st October 1966 at about 9:15 am. The day was calm and sunny at 7:30 am, when the team of men responsible for the dumping of mine waste on Tip 7 arrived for work. At the top they found the tip had subsided by about three metres. (The Landslide Blog)
This is Ronnie Davis, the first boy photographed by IC Rapoport in the aftermath of the tragedy. He lost his older brother in the landslide. His house, close to the school, was destroyed — he stands among the ruins.
“Altered Rain” is a demo excerpt of piano parts from my new composition Aberfan. Conceived to represent the thousands of people coming down the hillside following the mass funeral on a “windswept, grey” Thursday less than one week after the disaster, this musical section turns “Rain Sequence” — which occurs at the beginning of the composition, before the landslide –upside down.