Thursday, May 18, 2017

Performance of Wayne National Forest by Brian Harnetty




Early this year I downloaded Notes from Sub-Underground, a collection of music, sound, and assorted aural ephemera contributed by 50+ artists and compiled by Object Collection, with all proceeds to benefit ACLU Nationwide.

One of the tracks on the album – Wayne National Forest by Brian Harnetty – particularly struck me. In doing a bit of research on the composer, I came upon a series of articles at NewMusicBox about Brian's engagement with the coal mining and fracking industries in Ohio.

I learned that Wayne National Forest is under threat, and that this piece had been inspired by the struggle to preserve it.

I hoped there might be a way that this spare, sublime work could be included in a concert program I was developing to augment Imagining Sound, an exhibition of my 2- and 3D illustrations of tonal relationships at Central Features Contemporary Art. I wrote to Brian to inquire about the performance possibilities – he very generously provided us with the score and encouraged us to arrange it according to the instrumentation we would have available:

Wayne National Forest was truly a joy to play. Thanks so much to musicians Julian Mock, Elizabeth McNutt, and the Death Convention Singers, and thanks to Brian Harnetty for composing this moving work, and for the opportunity to perform it.