This Christmas my family and I were given a remarkable gift: admission to an exhibition at the Park Avenue Armory in New York City called ‘The Event of A Thread‘, by Ann Hamilton. A massive silk that moves like water or vapor, a field of swings, a record stylus, wooden crates of live pigeons, scrolls spilling onto the floor, a ceiling peppered with pulleys, bags of words and sacks of sound…it’s difficult to describe the piece, in either its scope or particulars, but we were children again. There was play, joy, rest, wonder.
In Ann Hamilton’s discussion of the piece and of the Armory’s role in its evolution, she states, “It happened because a space was made for it to happen.” Though I’m less shy than some to make New Year’s resolutions, my faith in my own ability to carry through on new commitments to “better” is sufficiently tempered. I’m struck though by Hamilton’s statement; where solitude, reflection, exploration and craft are so easily bullied by the crush of life and of calendars, creating space to create and making room for things to “happen” (with the obvious implication that if room isn’t made, things won’t happen), seems particularly urgent and necessary. How much wonder, play, and beauty could exist only for want of a place to exist? So with that, “it happened because a space was made for it to happen”–my artistic manifesto for 2013.
2013 Here We Come!
There are a whole host of goodies waiting in the wings this year, not the least of which is the completion of a new Joshua Stamper album (the bulk of which was recorded in Norway, arguably one of the most beautiful places on earth), a piece for cello and piano commissioned by the remarkable Brooks-Delaney Duo, and the completion of Ruth Naomi Floyd’s stunning photography and music project, The Veil Series, for which I’ve been privileged to act as music director. Much to look forward to!
Over the past several years, I’ve been honored to contribute to a Christmas compilation released by Sounds Familyre Records called A Familyre Christmas. It’s a wild and wooly celebration with song-gems running the stylistic gammut from a heap of gifted and creative artists. I’m happy to announce that the best of my Advent-time contributions to this effort have been gathered and are available as a brand-new EP called Maker of Stars, Be Born. Technically, the Christmas season doesn’t end until January 6th, so you can listen and enjoy with impunity. A happy note that all proceeds from the sale of Maker of Stars, Be Born will be donated to The Red Cross for the victims of Hurricane Sandy. Click on the album cover above to listen.
My brother Ben Stamper is one of the most talented artists I know. Several months ago he finished a documentary called Horse & Rider which is the story of two young women, Asha and Mangala, their rescue from the sex trade in India and their subsequent journey of restoration. It’s a powerful, beautiful and poignant film. I was very privileged to write the orchestral score for it, which was just released this past month. Click on the image below to hear and purchase (all proceeds from the sale of this music will go directly to Freedom Firm, for the rescue and restoration of victims of human trafficking).
And with that, I sign off grateful for a rich 2012 and hopeful about 2013. Happy New Year, dear folk!
It happened because a space was made for it to happen,