The New York-based, “lung-powered music” ensemble loadbang was in residency for several days at University of Virginia this year, and they performed my work “Path” for ensemble and live electronics.

The instrumentation of the ensemble is unique: high baritone voice, trumpet, trombone, and bass clarinet. I decided early on to treat the voice as another instrument, that is to not divide the group into solo voice with instrumental accompaniment. To reinforce this, the singer uses no text and instead uses different vowels for timbral variety (mimicking the timbral variety introduced in the brass through different kinds of muting). I also decided to make the material of the piece very simple: diatonic pitch collections in Ab and D. This allowed me to focus on texture and form.

The resulting piece is meditative and moody, switching from sections of resonant drone to chaotic, improvised textures and back again. The electronics of the piece incorporate electronic drones and pastoral recordings made on the East coast.