Dead Horse Bay
(Thoughts From the Future)
"Dead Horse Bay…thoughts from the future… was originally written for two violins and a live-projection film. The music can be performed with or without the film. Individual movements can be performed as stand-alone movements. The ideal presentation of the video is to include both wall projections and to project the film’s image through a large cell phone prop.
The video is an amateur documentary I created showcasing Dead Horse Bay, located in south Brooklyn. I filmed the footage over the course of several visits during the spring and summer of 2019. During the filming process I became fascinated by the island’s history and how the location was once the site of numerous industrial horse carcass-rendering plants as well as New York City’s primary garbage landfill. The island’s inhabitants – many who worked as laborers on the island – were forcefully removed and their homes leveled to the ground.
The city transformed the island into a peninsula by the 1950’s by using trash as topsoil. Since then the landfill caps have broken open and remnants of garbage, dating back to the 1800’s, can be found along the beach shore. During my first visit to Dead Horse Bay I was shocked by the sense of abjection. The beach was littered with old domestic trash such as glass bottles, plates, shoes, stoves, and the occasional horse bone. The scene on the beach was terrifying and weirdly mystical. It was beautiful to see how the trash was becoming part of the natural landscape. The inorganic mixed with the organic, both seemingly woven together at times. The various pieces of garbage projected an aura that I imagined as being rendered into music. My mind however became possessed by one idea, “This garbage is telling me thoughts from the future.”
For the first performance we created a large and very intentionally homemade, retro-looking, large cell phone made of a shower curtain and square chunk of foam. The phone’s screen displayed the film and acted as a sort of third character to play along with the two violins. Two large projections of the film were displayed on the walls surrounding the performers. Rather than being just about garbage, I also intended Dead Horse Bay…thoughts from the future…to help demonstrate the demonic nature of our cell phone reality. The cell phone gives us instant internet and a liquid, hypermodern, connective reality that shapes us in ways beyond our full knowledge. The cell phone is a portal into another dimension.The technological singularity has arrived in its nascent phase and we can feel it controlling us through our cell phones. Every time we turn the thing on, we should in some sense say to ourselves “This is a portal into another dimension, do I want to stick my head into this vortex to be devoured?”
Du.0 at Tenri Cultural institue (world premiere)
Live Sounds Series
Third Street Music School March 23, 2023
Manhattan School of Music
Composers forum October, 2022
Lancaster, PA, Friday, July 22, 2022
Art Association of Harrisburg Harrisburg, PA
Saturday, July 23, 2022
3Dots State College, PA,
Sunday, July 24, 2022
NYC Trash Tour
Sunview Lunchoenette Brooklyn, NY
Tuesday, June 28, 2022
Ridgewood Garden Queens, NY
Sunday, May 1st, 2022
Prospect Park Brooklyn, NY
Sunday, May 1, 2022
3-7 Sounds *World Premiere
Tenri Cultural Institute, New York, NY
February, 22nd, 2020
Performances in Ridgewood Garden and Prospect Park 5/1/2022
Constructing giant cell phone for the film to be projected onto.
Workshops with Scott Wollschleger
Fantasy on Item de Virginibus
co-composed by Du.0 + Hildegard von Bingen
In 2018 Aimée and Charlotte began co-composing a structured improvisation based on a vocal work by Hildegard von Bingen. Titled “Fantasy on ‘Item de virginibus,’” the piece is an experimental, drone-based exploration of the melody and lyrics of von Bingen’s 12th century composition, re-imagined through 21st century eyes.
The first half of the piece ruminates on the trance-like interplay of pitches and textures on the two violins. The second portion of the piece examines the vocal origins of the original composition by deconstructing the improvisation to a husk of the Latin text. This section of the piece involves mirrored almost silent mouthed letters, words, and very quiet sounds of violins, lips, and fingers.
Hildegard invented her own language. One word that appears in the poem is "viriditas" which best translates to "the greenening" or the earth turning green. We wanted to capture this concept visually and paired up with filmmaker Kevin Sims to film a music video version of the piece. With the help of a NYFA City Artist Corps Grant , we were able to spend a few days in Aaronsburg, PA exploring the green nature of the valley, recording, and filming the piece with Kevin in August 2023.
We are excited for the video and tape release to come out in 2024 with a large ensemble version of the piece!
Item de virginibus
O nobilissima viriditas, quae radicas in sole,
et quae in candida serenitate luces in rota,
quam nulla terrena excellentia comprehendit,
tu circumdata es amplexibus divinorum mysteriorum.
Tu rubes ut aurora et ardes ut solis flamma.
Also, of the maids
O most noble Greenness, rooted in the sun,
And who shines in bright serenity upon the wheel,
Nothing on earth can comprehend you,
You are encircled in the arms of divine mysteries.
You are radiant as the dawn and burn as the flame of the sun.
Filmed, Recorded, Mixed, Mastered by Kevin Sims 2022-23
NYC Tunnel Tour
October 9th+ 10th, 2021
Central Park Tunnel + Prospect Park Endale Arch
*supported and made possible by New York City Arts Corps Grant, 2021
March 14th, 2019, Saint Lydias Brooklyn, NY
Du.0 + Was and Music Now
Home Audio Series
April 27th, 2019, DeConstrukt Brooklyn, NY
Du.0, Nina Dante, Matteo Liberatore, Ethan Philbrick
Still from the film, Aaronsburg PA
Kevin Sims catching shadows in the river