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Michael Gordon

Publisher: G. Schirmer

The Sad Park (2006),
Publisher
Red Poppy
Category
Works for 2-6 Players
Sub Category
String Quartet
Year Composed
2006
Duration
30 Minutes
Availability
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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 www.youngwitness.com

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



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Performances
Date
Title
  • 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

Reviews
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),9/13/2006
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