Radial (2011)

Radial was performed in Toronto on Thursday, 30 June, 2011, as part of Art Spin. It was played by the Radiant Brass Ensemble: Rebecca Hennessy (trumpet), Nicole Rampersaud (trumpet), Tom Richards (trombone), Heather Segger (trombone), Doug Tielli (trombone), Steve Ward (trombone).

Radial is a site-specific piece for Art Spin, a series of art-and-performance bicycle tours in the summer in Toronto that is coordinated by Rui Pimenta. About two-hundred cyclists move from site to site to see art and performances, and to meet artists. I conceived Radial specifically for an audience on bikes. The musicians are in the middle of a circle of ten-metre diameter delineated by pylons in a parking lot along the tour route. The players have their backs to each other and play outward — radially — from the centre of the circle. Meanwhile, the audience rides slowly and clockwise around the perimeter; the players play held, pulsed, and hocketed tones that sound differently based on the cyclists’ position around the circle. Not incidentally, an aerial drawing of the piece, with the players’ sounds represented by lines, looks like a bicycle wheel, with its spokes, hub, and revolution.

See video documentation of Radial starting at 0:45 of this video, and also in this video.

Radial is dedicated to John Oswald, one of Toronto’s great brass-loving cyclists.

Other works for the Radiant Brass Ensemble: