About the Grant

$14,000 to support Music for 100 Carpenters (MAP 2008), a new theatrical surround-sound music performance by Douglas Henderson, that enlists 100 skilled and unskilled tradespeople. Prying at Stockhausen’s convolution of rhythm and timbre, 100 hammers, 100 blocks of wood and some 10,000 nails of varying sizes are brought to bear in a real-time, real-world articulation of complex computer synthesis. Under the guidance of job supervisors, thousands of hammer blows become waves of tonal murmur, threaded with rustlings of nails and occasional snarls of righteous indignation. The performers are organized into work crews with lists of tasks and closely timed schedules, and arranged in a circle around the audience. Toolbelts, sweat and lunchboxes are part of the score

About the Project

Music for Carpenters unfolds as a moving sculpture, using sound to tilt the architecture of the venue; confined to a limited sonic palate, Henderson focuses on architectural drama to move the music forward. Employing a devolved structure, like a construction plan, Henderson maintains musical control without relying on performers’ virtuosity. Within this scenario is an emotional distillation of purposefulness, threaded with the individual’s loss of identity in the scheme of manufacture; as the piece progresses, the experience of transcendence and deliverance from process emerges; the sensual reality of the piece finally evades the meanings and structures it invokes.

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Dance Theater Workshop


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