of NJ Café
Concerto, a Dialogue Song...
Composed during the Proffit Projects Café,
held for the Executive Board and Trustees of Young Audiences of New
Jersey, 2008. Music composed and performed by Eric Haltmeier.
-The piece begins with ambient sounds of street noises, leading to
the sounds typically found in a café
(clinking glasses, cash registers, conversations). These sounds were
chosen in order to provide a connection between sounds in the 'real
world' and the sounds in the café. A layer
of familiar sound in the background helped to provide comfort in an
otherwise silent space prior to the start of the cafe process.
-The ambient sounds lead into a layer of music that evolves from a
Peruvian percussion rhythm. The chords are a loose interpretation of
those found in an Ani DiFranco song called "Little Plastic Castle".
That song was in the forefront of my mind because of its opening
line, "In a coffee shop, in a city, which is every coffee shop, in
every city, on a day which is every day." To me, I felt this line as
representative of the café process, bringing about a dialogue
between everyday people, in any given place, on any ordinary day, to
bring about change in themselves and in their organization.
A sample of the background music layer can be heard here:
-'Vision Statements' were collected from participants, and recorded
as sound clips by Don Proffit, Eric Haltmeier, and Christine
Stockton. When heard in the musical composition, these sound clips
overlap each other, representing the array of ideas heard and
overheard in conversation. These ideas, prior to further
deliberation, may seem somewhat jumbled. Nonetheless, they live in
us as important ideals.
A sample of those sound clips can be heard individually here:
-As the cafe process evolved, participants wrote important
individual "notes" (or thoughts) on circular pieces of paper which
were then placed on a wall mural, created by Visual Practitioner
Christine Stockton, that looked like a musical staff. These 'notes'
ended up forming three different 'melodies' that were to become the
integral musical material of the Cafe Concerto. The three melodies,
played on a sampled Hammond B3 organ, can be heard individually
-Each cafe participant held onto one of their written 'notes' and
was then asked to read the note into a microphone. Every person
attending the cafe recorded their own 'sound note'. These 'human
notes' were incorporated in the Cafe Concerto in between each of the
Samples of these 'human notes' can be heard here:
-As participants then split up into 'open space', I was able to
spend some time alone with the above musical materials. From these
materials, the Cafe Concerto was composed. Different sound clips
were "triggered" via a MIDI keyboard. The Cafe Concerto was
performed in real-time at the end of the cafe, using a combination
of keyboard controllers, laptop software, and saxophone. The
performance acted as a reflective summary of the entire cafe.
The final piece, bringing together
all of the above elements, can be heard here:
1 of Dialogue Songs...