Sarah Cahill conceived of “A Sweeter Music” (borrowing a phrase from Dr. King’s Nobel Prize acceptance speech) as an artistic response to the Gulf War. In 2009, Cahill commissioned 18 composers to write on the subject of peace, and she received a diverse collection of reflections on violence, loss, history, pain and enlightenment; all meditations on the meaning of “peace”.
Composers included Yoko Ono, Terry Riley, Fredric Rzewski, The Residents, Kyle Gann, Phil Kline, and Jerome Kitzke.
She then asked me (John Sanborn) her husband and video artist to create video projections inspired by each composition as a performance environment to extend the character and tone of each work. I worked with a 3 channel approach, and worked to get inside each composition and Sarah’s interpretation and extract visual and story elements that would enrich the experience.
Sarah recently recorded 8 of the compositions for CD and I took the source videos for the live performance and confromed them for single channel viewing. The reveiws for the CD have been exceptional, with NPR naming it to it's TOP 100 songs of 2013 and highlighted by MSNBC.
A SWEETER MUSIC Sarah Cahill | piano John Sanborn | video
You can view both the live recordings of the performances from the world premiere in Berkeley, CA in January 2009, and the finished versions, with audio from the CD.