Composer David Lang has always been interested in creating work that transcends traditional execution. For this piece, the public domain, 1000 volunteer vocalists from the New York-metropolitan area were conducted by Simon Halsey, performing a physical score created by choreographer Annie-B Parson (of Big Dance Theater) at Lincoln Center Plaza in August of 2016. As Annie-B’s associate it was my responsibility to help her develop the choreography, teach it to all participants, oversee its execution, as well as lead rehearsals, run-throughs, and a strand of 200 performers in the piece itself.
Helping organize and execute large-scale works is particularly compelling to me, especially when it involves artists working across multiple disciplines. This was the second large-scale work I was professionally involved in, the first being Contemporary Color.
I’ve worked as Annie-B’s assistant or associate on several occasions, and have been particularly successful when sharing a common knowledge of music and musical language with the performers. In this piece, I was able to draw from my choral music background (I was president of choir at Paramus High School!) to not only describe movement in digestible ways to those not familiar with dance vocabulary, but to assist in the creative development of the piece, helping to create a piece that was mutually performed by the participants and spectators alike.