This artist’s rendition shows James Turrell’s new Skyspace currently under construction at Rice University.  I am involved with specifying a 14-discrete-channel sound system for this structure, the first time a Turrell Skyspace will have an integrated audio system included in its design.  The speakers will be embedded into the walls of the space making the sound sources invisible to observers. 

I am working on a new piece entitled Ten Directions to celebrate the unveiling of this structure in Winter 2011.  The ten directions are the four cardinal points (N, S, E, W), the four half-cardinal points (NW, SW, NE, SE) and the nadir and zenith.  Many of the world’s most ancient cultures have rituals in connection with the 10 directions that go back thousands of years.  To me, the concept of “ten directions” connects sky and earth, a very elemental idea which resonates with my perception of Turrell’s work.

This past summer, I lived in Taipei, Taiwan with my family.  In addition to attending several cultural events (see NOTES), learning about the education system (my daughter is enrolled in 3rd grade at a Taipei public school), and practicing my elementary Mandarin, I enjoyed the incredible food this city offers.  CNNGo recently associated Taipei with the mortal sin of gluttony.  This caused some outrage there, but judging from how often I was tempted towards gluttonous behavior, I understand the connection!

Chicago saxophone virtuoso Steve Duke and I are collaborating on a new interactive electroacoustic work for Spring 2011.  After years of performing on alto, Steve is switching back to tenor, the horn he started on.  He recently purchased a new Rampone tenor sax and our project will be the first piece he will premiere on his new horn.  The excerpt below, “Gaggle of Tenors,” is a tiny snippet from the work-in-progress...this may or may not find its way into the final version.

...what I am thinking about and working on right now, as you read this...

photo credit: jacques.c@www.e7go.tw