Join us on Friday January 28 at 6pm PST/ 9pm EST for the Youtube Premiere of Christopher Cerrone’s A Natural History of Vacant Lots, performed by Andy Meyerson and Post:ballet.
Having discarded several more bathetic titles, A Natural History of Vacant Lots struck me as providing a perfect analogy for my this piece, original composed as a quartet for Third Coast Percussion. I took it from the title of a book by Matthew Vessel and Herbert Wong describing the secondary flora and fauna found in abandoned lots. Subtitled “ambient music for percussion and electronics,” the work begins in an unusually stark manner: single notes are struck on vibraphones against an electronic soundtrack of the same pitch.
Much of the piece grows out of this initial note, first becoming a chorale, then slowly transforming into a dense forest of figuration over a period of about nine minutes. Though the growth of the material is extremely gradual, the things that emerge from the cycle of chords are sometimes surprising and veer quite far from the original material.
About a year after the premiere of the quartet version, my close friend and collaborator Andy Meyerson suggested a solo version of the piece as part of a dance project with the San Francisco based Post:ballet. Together, we reworked the piece, giving the live player the most essential music, while prerecording the rest and adding it to extant electronic accompaniment.”