WebNote: Composer video interviewClick here to see Rob Kapilow and Fred Newman
Fred Newman and Rob Kapilow up close
in 3 short video clips talk about their creative process and the making of Crosstown M42.
Making the Choir Coo... like pigeonsRob Kapilow
and A Prairie Home Companion's
sound effects artist, Fred Newman, have teamed up to create an incredibly original work for chorus. Commissioned by the Young People's Chorus of New York City
, to be premiered live on WNYC
, Kapilow and Newman have ingeniously brought the sounds of a crosstown bus to the choir loft: Crosstown M42
Using remarkable sound effects techniques often produced by Newman's own voice and Kapilow's infectious talents, the collaborators have harnessed the music of everyday sounds: screeching brakes, cooing pigeons, the jibber-jabber of passengers on a bus, cell phones ringing, car horns blaring, passing sirens, bus announcements, the rumble of an engine as in John Cage’s landmark work 4’33”
, the aural fabric of our surrounding environment has now become music.
The creative process began by simply riding a bus together and bringing along a handheld digital recorder, “we got some amazing conversations and some wonderful sounds,” the two recall. Newman then took this inspiration and created a sound effects soundtrack by using sounds of his own making and editing everything on a computer. Newman gave Kapilow this first draft to which Kapilow wrote music tracks that went along with what Newman had done. This back and forth continued until they had a final notated piece of music.
Originally the team was going to write a “concerto for Fred,” but Newman felt strongly that the chorus should learn how to make these sounds themselves. “It’s kind of like having been a dancer, then turning into a choreographer,” Kapilow explains, “now instead of just producing the sounds, Fred has to think, ‘what would it be like if I had a whole group of people making these sounds!”
For Kapilow and Newman, the mantra of this collaboration became “if you see something, sing something,” taking a cue from New York City’s public service announcements to report suspicious packages or activity: If you see something, say something. Ultimately, for the two collaborators, what will become the message to the kids and the audience is, “there’s a piece of music happening every second, if you only listen.”
Kapilow's Crosstown M42 premieres live on WNYC.org
on June 2, 2009 @ 5:30pmPlease click here for more eNews, audio, videos and more!