Repertoire Search

Michael Gordon

Publisher: G. Schirmer

The Sad Park (2006)
Red Poppy
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
String Quartet
Year Composed
30 Minutes
Sale from Rental Library Explain this...
Programme Note
Michael Gordon The Sad Park (2006)
Composer note:
Part 1: Two evil planes broke in little pieces and fire came.
Part 2: There was a big boom and then there was teeny fiery coming out.
Part 3: I just heard that on the news that the buildings are crashing down.
Part 4: And all the persons that were in the airplane died.
The recordings used in this piece are of children, ages 3 and 4, and were made by Loyan Beausoleil, a pre-kindergarten teacher at University Plaza Nursery School in Lower Manhattan, between September 2001 and January 2002. (My son Lev was in Ms. Beausoleil's class during this period.) Her ongoing work with these children is chronicled at

When I heard these recordings I was struck by the raw tunefulness of the children's speech. These specific segments were chosen for their musicality as well as for their content. I worked with sound designer Luke DuBois on the post-production of these tapes. In Parts 1 and 3, the sound clips are gradually slowed down to reveal the hidden acoustical properties of the speech. Parts 2 and 4 use an electronic music technique called granular synthesis, in which tiny ''grains'' of sound from the original source are captured and compacted together.

— Michael Gordon

The Sad Park was commissioned by the Kronos Quartet, through the generosity of Mrs. Ralph I. Dorfman, with additional support from the Barbican, London (UK), and the National Endowment for the Arts.

on NPR's "Deceptive Cadence"

   Listen to Michael Gordon discuss The Sad Park

Sample Pages

  • 05 MAY 2018
    Joe's Pub, New york, NY
    Kronos Quartet
  • 04 MAR 2016
    Other Minds Festival
    SF Jazz Center, San Francisco, CA
  • 21 SEP 2011
    BAM 2011 Next Wave Festival
    Brooklyn, NY
    Kronos Quartet

    Other Dates:
    24 September - Brooklyn, NY
  • 21 SEP 2011
    BAM 2011 Next Wave Festival
    BAM, Brooklyn, NY
    Kronos Quartet

    Other Dates:
    24 September - BAM, Brooklyn, NY

The program’s centerpiece, Michael Gordon’s The Sad Park, surrounds the electronically manipulated voices of children who witnessed the World Trade Center attack with string textures incorporating their speech rhythms, and it emerges as a threnody for lost innocence. The experience is disorienting and heartbreaking…
Allan Ulrich, Financial Times (London),13/09/2006
Close X

Newsletter Signup

Please fill in this form to receive regular news

Click here to receive regular news
© Copyright 2018 Music Sales Classical. Part of the Music Sales Group.