ligh-see + dark-hear – Steve Heitzeg

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Product Type: Digital Download

Format: Score

Composer: Steve Heitzeg

Instrumentation: Solo violin, gemstones, 3 small Tibetan singing bowls, and a recording of migrating birds

Duration: Approx. 15 minutes

Date Written: 2024

Premiered by: Ariana Kim, violin The Great Northern Festival mia (Minneapolis Institute of Art) January 26-28, 2024 – Minneapolis, MN

Commissioned: This project was made possible by generous support from Tom Von Sternberg and Eve Parker.


Additional Information: 

LIGHT/SEE + DARK/HEAR is designed as an acquiescence of sensory expectations: Steve Heitzeg (composer) and Ariana Kim (violinist and improviser) offer a multi-movement work for solo violin and accoutrements inspired by the photography and paintings in the Black Box Theater wing of the Minneapolis Institute of Art. After touring the visual art galleries in silence, we welcome you to enter the theater, choose a pillow, and gather around Ariana as she performs. Listeners are invited to sit, lounge, or lie among the space; as the performance begins, the theater will be brought to pitch-dark, allowing our sense of hearing to overtake our sense of sight.

The music will explore the ideas of sound color, sonic luminescence, time, space, and the concepts of such phenomena as Night Sky Sanctuaries and False Dawns. Pitch-black darkness creates an opportunity to lose oneself in sound without sight, and to imagine an inter-relationship between the visual art that preceded the performance and the music itself. Before each concert, Ariana will tour the galleries to gather inspiration for her improvisations, making each experience unique.

With the disappearance of one sense, we develop a greater appreciation for another. Inspired by Ariana’s time volunteering to help lead hikes in the Korean mountains for people who are blind and Steve’s passion for sounds of the earth and sky, we hope that our exploration into light/see + dark/hear brings a new gratitude to all that the world has to offer, no matter our abilities or differences.

Scored for solo violin, gemstones, 3 small Tibetan singing bowls and a recording of migrating birds, movements for the piece are as follows:

I. Nott (nocturne)
II. Star Map (chaconne: follow the North Star)
III. Fireflies (jewels of the night)
IV. Dark Sky Sanctuaries (dance)
V. Waawaate *(skyscape song)
VI. Light Pollution (ancient song of migrating birds) 
VII. Pre-Dawn (prelude and plea) 

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