I think it started when I was a kid. I had a mild interest in sports. I was amazed to find out that innings get added to a baseball game when there is a tie. But what was really amazing was that they keep adding them on until there’s a winner. The thought of a game lasting a few days was great. I thought it would be really cool if the game lasted a year. And what if the game lasted several years? I had a vision of all these baseball players running around in weathered uniforms and long white beards. Now that would be something; to continue a game for the rest of your life.
MB 89 is an attempt for me to play a continuous piece of music that spans the greater part of my life. Unlike a composition with a discrete beginning and ending that may be played over and over, MB 89 is a composition played once, continuously; spaces between performances are to be treated as musical rests. Instead of many starts and finishes there is constant music. Thus MB 89 is a reference point in my ever-changing life.
MB 89 is not to be merely conceived, written, and performed. Rather, I have just realized MB 89’s presence in my life and have decided to acknowledge it. It will be an ongoing endeavor for the rest of my life.
The first MB 89 performance was a series of live radio broadcasts on the UMASS radio station WMUA. Mike Burke DJ extraordinaire was a neighbor of mine when I first moved to Northampton. We quickly became friends due to our late night talks about music. So every Thursday in August 1997 MB 89 was broadcasted from Mike Burke’s radio show.
Since then, the presentation of MB 89 has evolved into a timeless environment for people to enter and exit at will. The concept for this installation is to create a space of subtle movement where people can be part of the environment and absorb MB 89 any way they like.
Three Cylinders of metal and fabric will stand in the room, from within the cylinder will be a Bass Clarinet generating a drone with electronics. Lights will accompany the drone. It will be a 4-hour performance.
The performance is presented in 4-hour increments and is designed for the audience to come and go as they please. It is best to find a space in the room and listen for a while leave and then come back.