Music lovers awaiting the release of a new Peter Yates composition need only to consult the moon.
Yates, chair of the music department, recently launched a project titled “A Song A Week A Year” to celebrate the start of 2018. At each new phase of the moon, the composer and guitarist will release an original music video online about some aspect of human existence.
These multimedia pieces, ranging from one to five minutes, feature both his own texts and the words of late philosophers, poets, sages and cranks such as Simone Weil, Abe Lincoln, Beatrice Wood and Black Elk.
Video imagery includes various bushes and cacti, ruins, a 19th century railway carriage, and the Salton Sea. Performances include singers, toy pianos, guitars, kazoos, violas, cellos, and a forgotten instrument called the arpeggione. Musical scores are constructed by rearranging the 12 pitches of the tempered scale.
Yates touches on a variety of topics ranging from nature and death, to birth and artifice, to irritating lovers and the myth of Sisyphus, but avoids politics for the most part, referring to it as “a fickle phenomenon compared to the overall sweep of human expression.”
He will chart his progress for moon gazers on his YouTube page.
To see, hear and comment on Yates’ progress so far, visit his YouTube page and check in with the moon.