CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Wind Ensemble will perform the world premiere of Paul D. Miller’s “Heart of a Forest” at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, May 18, in the Austin Auditorium at The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th Street, Corvallis.
Miller, a composer, multimedia artist and author who also goes by the stage name D.J. Spooky, composed the work after four artist residencies in the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest. He said that the piece is inspired by Thoreau and “the collision of data, sound and new ways to think about the absence of origins.”
“No one owns the forest and the sounds that it inspires,” Miller said. “It’s all a mirror of what is possible in our hyper interconnected world. Like the roots of trees underneath the forest. It is all connected, and we all contribute to the elements that make it evolve.”
Loosely based on the concept of Antonio Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” the work, composed for wind ensemble and turntables, explores a post-minimalist soundscape in which Miller draws from his immersive experience of visiting the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest during each of the four seasons of the year. Neo-classical in nature, the audience will be treated to a work that features the familiar and the modern.
Miller’s work has appeared at the Venice Biennial for Architecture, the Andy Warhol Museum, the Whitney Biennial and others. Miller spent 2012-2013 as the first artist-in-residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and has collaborated with a diverse array of popular musicians, including Yoko Ono, Chuck D and Thurston Moore. Rising to fame through his hip-hop turntablist persona “DJ Spooky,” Miller is a global artist who has engaged in creative projects on all seven continents.
The project is collaboration between the Oregon State University School of Arts and Communication, the Spring Creek Project for Ideas, Nature and the Written Word and the Oregon State University Wind Ensemble. Funding was provided by the Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights program and the USDA Forest Service’s Pacific Northwest Research Station.
The OSU Wind Symphony, under the direction of Dana Biggs, will open the concert with Alfred Reed’s “Hound of Spring,” “Elegy for a Young American” by Ronald Lo Presti, Chorale and Alleluia by Howard Hanson, an excerpt from Frank Ticheli’s Second Symphony and Vientos y Tangos by Michael Gandolfi.
The OSU Wind Ensemble, under the direction of Christopher Chapman, will also perform Percy Grainger’s popular “Lincolnshire Posy,” “Daybreak Crossing” by David Biedenbender and a transcription of John Adams’ fiercely rhythmic “Short Ride in a Fast Machine.”
Tickets are $7 in advance, $10 at the door. OSU students with ID and youth in grades K-12 will be admitted free. Corvallis Arts for All discounts apply, allowing purchase of up to two tickets for $5 each at the door with a SNAP card. Advance tickets are also available online at www.tickettomato.com.