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…begins to whisper

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May 30 at 7:00 p.m.
The Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill (8855 Germantown Ave, 19118)

…begins to whisper is a composition for children’s choir and electronic sound. Much of the electronic score is made from recordings of WSP’s choirs, string ensembles and the ambient sounds of its classrooms and playgrounds.

The theme of the work is the celebration of the sounds of the world and the new orientations and perceptions that attentive listening to them provides.

In the fall of 2011 Peter Price created a four-channel sound installation based on the unique ambient sound world of the Waldorf School of Philadelphia, a Kindergarten to 8th grade school in the Mt. Airy neighborhood of Philadelphia. Through working on the sound installation, he became interested in partnering with the Waldorf School on a more traditionally “musical” project.

Peter worked with students over the 2013-2014 school year to record and shape source material for the electronic score. In the fall he collaborated with choreographer Megan Bridge, shaping the source material into a short work for electronics and dance, that premiered at the Fall Experimental Music Festival at thefidget space in November. This spring he has been working on the last phase of this research that culminates with the performance of …begins to whisper at the WSP’s Spring concert.

As a composer Peter’s work falls in the “post-Cagean” lineage. For him the essence of sonic art in the western tradition is not about style, but the notion of deep engaged listening. Anything that promotes an awareness of the sounds around us promotes the possibility of understanding new sonic art.

One of his main goals for this project has been to introduce the concept of engaged listening to children. By listening to the sounds of their environment in a musical way, the students begin to relate firsthand to the notion articulated by Luigi Russolo in the early 20th century, then picked up by Cage fifty years later that any sound can be material for musical creation.

Supported through a grant from the American Composers Forum, Philadelphia Chapter

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