<fidget> is an interdisciplinary, experimental performing arts company and space in Kensington, Philadelphia, run by WSP parents Megan Bridge (dancer/choreographer) and Peter Price (composer/video artist/musicologist). This year Peter received a Community Partners grant from the Philadelphia chapter of the American Composer’s Forum to work with students at WSP.
Since September 2013 Peter has visited to record the students playing their instruments and singing during choir and orchestra classes. He is creating an electronic music score out of these collected sound samples from the students, and will return to their classrooms to speak to them about how he works with technology to manipulate and create with their sounds. He is also writing a piece of music that the choir will learn. The choral part will overlap with the electronic sound samples to create a fabric of music entirely constructed of sounds from students at our school. The new work will premiere at the WSP spring concert on May 30th 2014.
Below are some thoughts from the composer:
I have recorded The Waldorf School of Philadelphia choral and string groups several times now thanks to the generosity of WSP music teachers Amanda Rogers-Petro and Jennifer Cole. Back in my studio I work with these recordings to edit together musical sequences and digital instruments that will form the basis of a sonic accompaniment for the beautiful voices of the students of the WSP in a new composition to be premiered at the spring concert at the end of May. As I develop material I will revisit the students and share my process and progress with them.
As a WSP parent (and musician) one of the things I appreciate the most about my children’s educational experience is the amount of joyful singing in their lives. With the emphasis on song in the early years, by the time WSP students are singing in one of Mrs. Rogers-Petros’ choral groups they already have strong ears and confident and controlled voices. Its exciting to be able to work with a such an unusual talented group of young singers.
At first it may seem like a strange match for a digital media artist to collaborate with a school that has a healthy skepticism about the role of technology in education, but it is my belief that experimental digital art making is a critical arena for exploring different ways of relating to technology in today’s over mediated world. It is my hope that in sharing my working process with the students I will be able to reinforce both the joy of music making and a critical and creative engagement with technology.
Peter Price and Megan Bridge are shown here meeting in the development office at WSP.
For more information on this collaboration between WSP parents and school staff, please contact Director of Development, Allison Budschalow.