John Holland – A Natural Life

FOR PIANO SOLO WITH RECORDED NATURE SOUNDS AND PROJECTED IMAGES WITHIN A FRAME (2005)

(Recorded ‘live’ at the Yamaha Piano Salon in New York City on January 14, 2008; the recorded sounds were projected through built-in speakers in the ceiling. The first performance took place at the Pozen Center, Boston in Fall, 2007.)

The musical score is divided into twelve movements. Movements are derived from the names of various naturalists that have had a significant impact on human culture throughout history. Musical expressions are shaped by the player according to biographical references of the naturalists.

The naturalists corresponding to each movement are Pliny the Elder, Carolus Linnaeus, John Chapman (Johnny Appleseed), John J. Audubon, Charles Darwin, Henry Thoreau, John Muir, Theodore Roosevelt, Edward (Doc) Ricketts, Rachel Carson, Edward (E.O.) Wilson, Jane Goodall.

A slideshow containing images of animals, insects, birds, marine life, and microorganisms from around the world are included with the score. The images are projected onto the interior of a large picture frame. The frame sits on an easel in front of the piano, center, facing the audience.

The recorded sounds and projected images of animals, insects, birds, marine life, fungi, plants, trees, and microorganisms have been sampled from around the world, and are collectively representative of the Five Kingdoms of life (Prokaryotes [Archea], Eukaryotes, Fungi, Plants, Animals).