The Relache ensemble conceived the really brilliant idea of getting a grant to commission a video piece to accompany my suite The Planets when they tour it. So I approached John Sanborn of Perfect Lives fame, thinking he was probably way out of my league, and to my surprise and gratification he leaped at the chance. Now he’s finished Venus and Mars, and they are absolutely magnificent: dancers, galaxies, poetry, astrological symbolism, paintings, planetary landscapes, labyrinths in whack, a whirling universe of imagery. So what Relache will do is tour the piece live in the fall with these wonderful video portraits projected on a screen behind them. And I am rather astonished at how quickly the music goes by while you’ve got something to watch. For this purpose I could have made the piece 150 minutes instead of 75. Still, with pauses it will be an evening-length multimedia show (and hopefully, some day, a DVD).
Now I’m off to Boston to hear my string quartet The Light Summer Land, at Harvard’s Memorial Church, 8:30 tonight.