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Letters from the Sky


Letters from the Sky is Joey Brink's first composition for the Rockefeller Memorial Carillon at the University of Chicago. It was commissioned by Augusta Read Thomas for Ear Taxi Festival - a contemporary classical music festival across Chicago with 54 world premieres played by 350 musicians - and premiered on October 6, 2016.

The piece consists of three short movements (letters) of diverse harmonic and rhythmic structure. Each letter opens very free, each gesture a thought or the stroke of the pen, followed by a descending precipitation, as if letters are falling down from the sky, getting blown about in the wind before landing on the ground. After the opening of each letter (a few rolled chords), the musical material that follows conveys the message.

The piece is inspired by the unusually disconnected relationship between audience and performer. Unlike a concert hall, the bell tower renders carillonneur and listener apart and often anonymous from one another. The tower itself becomes the artist. And when the tower is out of view or out of mind, it is not the carillonneur or the tower that speaks, but the sky, sending letters to all who listen.

Code: BLS
Composer: Brink, Joey

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