When We Took The Fire (2019)

co-composed with Mat Muntz — commissioned by The Shed — 45’ 

When we took the fire is an evening-length concert work featuring a variety of double reed instruments, both traditional and newly devised. Double reeds constitute one of the oldest families of musical instruments, and have been independently developed by virtually every culture across the world. In forming a new ensemble comprised of piri and taepyeongso from Korea, highland bagpipes from Scotland, and the Istrian mih from Croatia, we seek to explore a unique sonic realm shared by these disparate manifestations of the double reed. These traditional instruments are paired with newly invented counterparts (designed by the composers via 3D-printing technology), processed through live electronics, and specially arrayed to take advantage of the Plaza’s cavernous space at The Shed (NYC). The work is in part an examination of a cultural and historical estuary in which cutting edge technology coexists with time-honored tradition, and in which distinct cultural forms are allowed to interact in unprecedented ways.

This piece is a part of The Vex Collection's repetoire.

Performed by

David Watson - Bagpipes

Matthew Welch - Bagpipes

gamin - Piri, Taepyeongso

Joo Ah Yoon - Piri, Taepyeongso

Mat Muntz - Mih, Double Bass

Vicente Hansen Atria - Drums

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