Pamela Z ~ "Ways of Looking" Signed Score Page & Tix to Chicago or Berkeley Premiere

Eighth Blackbird present the world premrei of "Ways of Looking" by Pamela Z, commisioned by the LA Phil, Gustavo Dudamel Music & Artistic Director, in conjunction with the orchestra's 50th Anniversary, at Noon to Midnight on June 1, 2019.

Celebrate this new work and a joyful collaboration by joining us at one of two live performances during 2019, and get a beautfiul keepsake in the form of an autographed score page of the piece as well.

Package includes:

Pair of tickets to Eighth Blackbird with Pamela Z at either Fullerton Hall, Art Institute of Chicago on October 11, 2019 OR at Cal Performances, Zellerbach Hall, Berkley, Californai on December 14, 2019.

Signed score page of "Ways of Looking" by Pamela Z.

Pamela writes this about the piece:

"Ways of Looking" for Eighth Blackbird
i. Looking
ii. Name
iii. Um
iv. Very
I have long been fascinated by the musicality of speech sounds, and have regularly incorporated them into my work in various ways – mining sampled fragments of spoken text for melodic, rhythmic, and textural content. To compose Ways of Looking, I began by interviewing all six members of Eighth Blackbird, and then I meticulously selected sentences, phrases, words, syllables, and phonemes to create sonic building blocks for the piece. This work is in four movements that each focus on sounds or concepts culled from those interviews.

For the first movement, “Looking”, I chose to have the ensemble speak their own words live. I pulled samples from their answers to a question about the origin of the ensemble’s name. They each answered that question by citing the Wallace Stevens poem that is their namesake. I built a text collage from fragments of that title, and then transcribed it and integrated it into their parts.

The second movement, “Name”, is all about describing and identifying people. The tape part of that movement consists entirely of names and descriptions (often of teachers or mentors) mentioned in the interviews, and the instrumental parts are laced with melodic and rhythmic transcriptions of those phrases.

Movement three, “Um”, is a cloud of sound built around the sonorous, non-verbal, filler sounds we all
make during speech. I find “Ums” and “uhs” to be among the most musical spoken utterances, because they are more sustained and contain more focused pitches than most of the words we speak.

The final movement, “Very” celebrates the ubiquitous intensifier. I found so many descriptors that were modified by “very” in the interview responses, that I thought they deserved a dedicated movement. The melodic material in this movement was inspired by a section of a score I composed a few years ago (for a dance piece by choreographer Stephan Koplowitz) that kept haunting me as I listened to my long list of Eighth Blackbird “verys”. I also choose to include a part for my own voice and electronics in this movement.

I’ve long admired Eighth Blackbird, and listening to and editing their speaking voices was a heartwarming experience for me that gave me a sense of knowing them better. I like to think of this work as a kind of sonic portrait of them that I hope does them justice in at least a small way.


– Pamela Z (2019)

Donated by :

Eighth Blackbird Performing Arts Association is a registered 501(c)3, EIN 41-2081766.  Winning bids in excess of the Fair Market Value of auction items may be tax deductible. 

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