nacht nach nacht nach nacht nach nacht (2008) derives its title from the play “Preservation” by Abi Basch, in which memory, repetition, human vulnerability and resilience all powerfully intermingle. The piece was written for three music boxes, with customized, hand-punched piano-roll scores which unfurl as the piece progresses. The music boxes utilized for the piece intentionally involve the inexactness of the mechanical system combined with human error.
Additionally, the piece calls for four matchstick performers, who ignite the matches from strike boxes affixed to their forearm. A gradual progression to rhythmic unison is specified for the match stick performers, so that their pulsations of light gradually coalesce into a single pulse. The piece takes place entirely in darkness, allowing for striking patterns to emerge from varying ostinati of sound, light, and shadow.
The piece was originally premiered at the Ontological Hysteric Incubator Theater’s Experimental Music Series at St. Mark’s Church. Many special thanks are owed to Travis Just, Kara Feely, Aaron Meicht, James Moore, Wil Smith, and Erik km Clark, who originally premiered the piece. The piece fell in to disrepair after the music box scrolls were damaged from use, and were reconstructed during a residency at the American Academy in Rome in 2014. The piece was recorded there with Andy Akiho, Firat Erdim, Kim Karlsrud, Sarah Levin-Richardson, Anissa Mack, Dave McKenzie, Daniel Phillips, & Olivia Valentine.