THE CEILING FLOATS AWAY
Matthew Burtner & Rita Dove
The Ceiling Floats Away (2016) by Matthew Burtner and Rita Dove is a concert work and installation for chamber ensemble, spoken and sung voice, computer-generated sound, and a unique mobile phone enabled audience interaction audio-visual software called Nomads. Thirteen composed chamber movements are interspersed with Audience Creation Bridges. During the Bridges, the audience uses Nomads to offer reflections, echoes and thoughts on the music and poetry. These thoughts create a new poetic musical piece generated by the audience and experienced in real time. Through the social dimension of The Ceiling Floats Away Matthew Burtner and Rita Dove explore the public as artist, in dialog with a composed artwork. The piece empowers people as creative agents in an artwork without walls, without ceiling. “The Ceiling Floats Away” was commissioned by a National Endowment for the Arts, "Art Works" grant. The piece was awarded a Special Jury Award in the 2016 American Prize in Chamber Music Composition for "Unique Nexus of Acoustics, Electronics and Audience Interaction". The piece was premiered at the Intersections Festival in Washington DC, and then selected for performance at the Tom Tom Festival, the Atlas Performing Arts Center and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum's Accelerate Festival.
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