Recording by University of Michigan Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jotaro Nakano at Hill Auditorium, Ann Arbor, MI.
Gather moves between the extremes of imagining the orchestra as a gathering of a multitude of people in cooperation, and imagining the orchestra as an aggregate of many disparate and independent individuals. The rich diversity of musical material and techniques of ensemble coordination resulting from this thinking create the tensions and contradictions that shape this work, and also raise larger questions about the political meaning of the orchestra as a collective of people.
By reflecting on the orchestra through these frames, I invite the listener to think of all the ways we gather in the 21st century: from the traditional concert hall ritual, to the hyper-speed fragmentation of social media, and to the increasingly strained politics of inclusion. I hope that my piece will serve as means to think about belonging and inclusivity in these and other spaces; to think about those who are left behind, and about how we may draw on the richness of our diversity in experience and perception to share a collective sense of wonder.