Memory Palace is a kind of paean to places and people that have deeply affected me. The title refers to an ancient technique of memorization that helped orators remember very long speeches by placing mental signposts in an imaginary location and ‘walking’ through it. In this piece, the palace is my life. The crickets in the first movement, ‘Harriman’, were recorded on a camping trip with two old and dear friends. The recording of windchimes in the third movement was recorded at my parents’ backyard. The sounds in the piece are the signposts; they help me remember—and more important, understand—who I am.
The majority of the instruments in Memory Palace are to be fashioned by the percussionist. This includes restringing a cheap guitar, cutting and tuning fourteen slats of wood (to be played like a marimba), tuning ten metal pipes, and tuning wine bottles by filling them with varying amounts of water. Ideally, the instruments should not be expensive to make; simple household items (and maybe a trip to your local hardware store) should suffice. In addition, a few traditional percussion instruments are used: three loose crotales, two glockenspiel bars, and a kick drum.
Memory Palace is dedicated to Owen Weaver.
American Composers Orchestra (ACO) is dedicated to the creation, celebration, performance, and promotion of orchestral music by American composers. With commitment to diversity, disruption and discovery, ACO produces concerts, pre-college and college education programs, and emerging composer professional development to foster a community of creators, audience, performers, collaborators, and funders.
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