WaterFire Soundtrack - Providence, RI

Posted by:  WaterFire


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WaterFire Providence is many things: a public art installation, a performance work, an urban festival, “a religious experience,” and a downtown summer block party all rolled into one.

Taking place from sunset to 12:30am on Saturday evenings throughout the summer, WaterFire is an event where music, fire and water combine in the most spectacular way. It features one hundred sparkling bonfires individually lit by firetenders on the river at Waterplace Park. On a given WaterFire evening, the crowds can be anywhere between 20,000 to 50,000 people, with over 1 million attending per season.

Creator and Artistic Director Barnaby Evans is interested in featuring new music on the WaterFire soundtrack – a program of music that is compiled for each individual WaterFire event and presented to the public over very high-fidelity speakers strategically hidden all along the rivers downtown. Evans would love to showcase new music of performers and composers whose style compliments the mood and aesthetic of the installation.

This opportunity is to have one or more of your original recordings played as part of an evening’s soundtrack. Selected artists will be advertised both on the WaterFire website and in their extensive printed program. For the right band, there may even be the potential to perform on one of the live WaterFire stages.

The music of WaterFire is an integral component to the sculpture and directly relates to the ritual, religious, and symbolic sources of the installation. The soundtrack changes with each performance and features eclectic works by artists from around the globe and many disciplines all deliberately juxtaposed. Although the music is extremely varied - from grand opera to Antony and the Johnsons– it is curated with a very specific ambiance in mind. The highly emotional character of the music is opposed to the minimalism of the sculpture – just as fire is balanced with water.

The soundtrack includes works by several principal composers - the Estonian composer Arvo Part's modern works influenced by ancient Christian and Russian Orthodox liturgical music; the Armenian folk melodies played by Djivan Gasparyan on the Duduk or Nay (the Armenian oboe); the American avant-garde composer David Hykes' settings of religious music for small chorus using vocal techniques derived from Tibetan "overchanting"; selections from Nicholas Lens' work Flamma Flamma - The Fire Requiem; collaborations between Philip Glass & Foday Musa Suso; and music by such artists as Lisa Gerrard from Dead Can Dance and Jennifer Smith.

Appropriate genres include but are not limited to: World Music, Jazz, Contemporary Classical, Acoustic, Avant-garde, Latin, Blues, Classical, Folk, Gospel, Singer/Songwriter, Cabaret, and Soul. Please send us material that you feel would be appropriate.

WaterFire has been praised by Rhode Island residents and international visitors alike as a powerful work of art and has brought music, light and life to the city of Providence.