55: Music and Dance in Concrete is a modular, site-specific work created by composer Wayne
Horvitz in collaboration with Yukio Suzuki (choreography and dance), Yohei Saito (video
artist) and Tucker Martine (producer / engineer).
Designed to highlight the unique visual and acoustic elements of chosen sites, the piece
is grounded by an electronic score, comprised of fragments from 55 composed short motifs for
chamber music, and 55 pieces from various invited improvisers.
The 110 fragments were recorded, and will later be presented, at
Fort Worden in Port Townsend,
Washington. The Fort's architecture, including concrete bunkers and a massive cistern, created
auditory conditions that shape the piece from foundation to performance.
For the Fort Worden live performance, visitors will be able to walk through the concrete
structures and experience music, video and dance in the darkened spaces.The 360 degree view
of the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges at the site will also lend natural beauty to the
dance and video aspects of the piece. (See calendar for a full list of events)
Horvitz has long been fascinated with the unique tunnels and chambers
that make up the military fortification system of the circa-1900 army base, including the
acoustic qualities of the Harpole Cistern. Nearly two hundred feet in diameter and fourteen
feet deep, the cistern was originally built as a water supply system. Now empty, the cistern
features a 45-second reverberation time, one of the longest known natural reverb times of any
"I have been walking the bunkers and tunnels of Fort Worden since moving to Seattle from
New York in 1988," said Horvitz, "but it wasn't until I found myself performing in the pouring
rain with Yukio Suzuki (at the Portland Museum of Art's TBA (Time Based Art) Festival in 2010)
that I finally had a vision of exactly what I wanted to do with them."
Immediately after completing a residency at Centrum in Port Townsend,
Mr. Horvitz and Mr. Suzuki developed the work at Arizona State and created a new version of
the piece utilizing spaces within the Arizona State University Museum of Art.
55: Music & Dance in Concrete will be premiered at Fort Worden as part of
Centrum's Reverberations series, in addition to the Arizona State University Art Museum.
Additional site-specific versions of the piece will occur in Seattle presented by Rainier
Beach Merchant Association's (RBMA) Art Walk Rainier Beach, in association with SEEDArts.
55: Music and Dance in Concrete has received initial funding from the MAP Fund and the
Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, as well as support from Arizona State University, and
SEEDArts. The project is supported by the Japan Foundation through the PerformingArtsJAPAN
program. The Centrum Artist Residency program is made possible by support from the
Washington State Arts Commission and the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission.
Additional support was provided by 4Culture Site Specific.
More information at the 55
in Concrete Blog
Project info from Centrum
Read more and see photographs of previous Yokio Suzuki and Wayne Horvitz
Willamette Week and
Portland Monthly Magazine.
More information on
View previous video work from Yohei Saito
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