Saturday, June 21, 2014
And Death Shall Have No Dominion
a participatory singing event for a synchronized headphone choir
conceived and composed by Pete M. Wyer, with accompaniment by the Asphalt Orchestra
Starts at 11:00am in various locations (see route)
Converges at Rockefeller Park (Battery Park City) at 11:45am
This year, in honor of the centenary of the birth of Dylan Thomas, Make Music New York presents And Death Shall Have No Dominion by composer Pete M. Wyer.
And Death Shall Have No Dominion is a participatory singing event for a synchronized headphone choir in honor of Dylan Thomas’s famous poem. Using a smartphone app that contains the accompaniment and synchronizes their mobile devices, participants set-off along 45-minute walking routes through lower Manhattan, singing the words of the renowned poet across the landscape of his final days.
The performers begin their walk individually on June 21 at 11:00 am, singing just one part. Little by little, as routes converge, the song is revealed in its fullness until eventually, everyone assembles together for a grand choral finale at the gazebo in Rockefeller Park.
Participants are invited to reflect on Thomas’s words that famously declare triumph over death in the context of their own personal journey. Anyone can take part – it is unnecessary to read music or to have sung in a choir previously.
This performance is facilitated by your smartphone, using an atomic clock to help you coordinate with the other singers.
iPhone and iPad users can download the No Dominion app (created by David Reeder and Chris Welsh), which will sync with the atomic clock and then start playing the track of your choice at 11am on June 21st. (Singers should practice with the app in advance to get the hang of it.) For technical support for the app, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
For those without iPhones — or those who prefer not to use the app — you may download the audio files directly from this link, and load them into your phone or iPod. On June 21st, shortly before 11am, visit makemusicny.org/time to see the atomic clock’s time, and count along with the seconds. At 10:59:40am, start counting out loud while you switch over to your music player, and press “play” when you reach 11:00:00am. Then relax and start walking!
Singers can, beginning at 11:00AM, take their own route through Lower Manhattan which ends at the Gazebo at Rockefeller Park by 11:45AM for the grand finale. Or, singers can join one of the following routes, organized by voice part. Each route will be led by a professional singer and guide. Please arrive by 10:45AM to join.
Soprano Route: Meet at the northwest corner of 11th St and Bleecker St, under the Chaim Gross “FAMILY” monument at the entrance to the Bleecker Playground.
Alto Route: Meet at the entrance to the park, at the corner of Washington Square South and La Guardia Place.
Tenor Route: Meet at the gates of the Old St Patrick’s Cathedral, on Mott Street btw Houston and Prince Streets.
Bass Route: Meet at the entrance to the park on Cadman Plaza E, at the corner of Red Cross Place.
Pete M. Wyer is a leading British composer who is known for his orchestral scores, opera, choral, ballet and jazz works. Pete’s portfolio includes music for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Juilliard Academy, Royal Opera House, English National Ballet and the London Symphony Orchestra, as well as original work for BBC TV and BBC Radio Three. In New York, his one hour song cycle of poems by Charles Simic ‘The Invisible’ premiered at Roulette, Brooklyn in 2012, and his opera-in-development Numinous City was presented by American Opera Projects and performed at the Rubin Museum, New York in November 2011.
Asphalt Orchestra is a radical street band that brings ambitious processional music to the mobile masses. Created by the founders of the “relentlessly inventive” new music presenter Bang on a Can (New York Magazine), Asphalt Orchestra unleashes innovative music from concert halls, rock clubs and jazz basements and takes it to the streets and beyond. Asphalt Orchestra’s debut performances stretched 10 packed nights at Lincoln Center Out of Doors Festival in New York over the summers of 2009 and 2010. Since then they have performed throughout the US East Coast and Canada, at London’s Barbican Centre, New York’s Alice Tully Hall and Metropolitan Museum of Art, and more.
And Death Shall Have No Dominion is conceived & composed by Pete M. Wyer, based on the poem by Dylan Thomas. Recorded at the London Recording Studios (formerly Sarm East Studios) – Recording Engineer: Murillo Sguillaro; Music Consultant: Peter Wilkinson. Recording Artists – Soprano: Gweneth Jeffers; Alto: Hyacinth Nicholls; Tenor: Ed Hughes; Bass: Adam Green. Creative Producer: Maedhbh Mc Cullagh. Sponsorship & Outreach: Kathleen Wylane. Graphic Design: John Lewis. Smartphone App Development: David Reeder and Chris Welsh.
And Death Shall Have No Dominion is co-presented by LMCC, Make Music New York and Poets House in association with American Opera Projects as part of the River To River Festival 2014.
The project is generously sponsored by the British Council and was developed during a residency from Blue Mountain Center. Additional support and thanks to Owen Sheers, Ralph Samuelson, Andy Horwitz, Visit Wales and the Welsh Government.