IN-SITU / Malangan (composer)

Over six years, SITE Santa Fe commissioned from Molly Sturges and me three musical pieces responding to their 2004, 2006, and 2008 Biennials.

The first year of this project was the commission of a live/silent film soundtrack for Paul Leni’s remarkable 1927 film, The Man Who Laughs, which was performed for a sold-out audience at the Lensic Performing Arts Center in Santa Fe.

The second year, SITE decided to commission a site-specific work, occupying and responding to the current installation. IN-SITU was performed January 2007 in collaboration with a small ensemble of musicians and performers who were positioned throughout the SITE space. Molly and I worked with writer Melody Sumner Carnahan and Theater Grottesco actor/performer John Flax for the accompanying text. We performed this piece in front of hundreds of audience members on a snowy night (only ten days after Molly’s oral cancer surgery). It was a remarkable evening.

Two years later, we expanded the idea, and collaborated with composer John Kennedy. This piece, Malangan was a site-specific composition for a nine-piece orchestra, the UNM Children's Choir (co-directed by Molly and Acushla Bastible), and two actors. As was the case with IN-SITU, the audience moved through the installation space to experience different parts of the composition, but never the whole piece at once, mirroring the subjective experience of life.