GONE is a suite that explores the intense emotional terrain of loss.
The loss of a loved one is accompanied by intense emotional upheaval, filled with complex feelings and memories. The sense of loss can be interpreted more broadly, to include loss experienced through major life changes, even loss resulting from what we experience in the world of the COVID pandemic – loss of our sense of normality, our sense of human connection, potentially loss of income or physical/emotional stability.
GONE can be experienced as a work for live music and/or multimedia performance/installation, recorded music, and video presentation. Video imagery for each movement was created in collaboration with visual artist Candy Kuehn. The multimedia performance version of the work is designed to incorporate video projection into an immersive environment comprised of multiple hanging scrims, with a multi-channel audio distribution design such as is described above. The project is designed to establish a creative and safe context for the exploration of loss for individuals, and for small group discussion and sharing of experiences and feelings.
The movements in the suite include Passing, Release, Nostalgia, Loss, Emptiness, Gratitude, Regret, Longing, Guilt and Freedom. The suite also includes Earth and Sky, an electronic soundscape postlude that sometimes accompanies performances.
To listen to a music playlist of the entire suite follow this link:
The following offers links to the music or video versions of the individual movements of GONE. Additional video versions of the movements that are presented here as music soundtracks alone will be released as available.
Passing is a reflection about the passing process – their leaving and passage, leaving the memory and essence of their presence; we share in the experience of passage, and remain to process their absence.
“Release” portrays the immediate aftermath of a loved one’s departure. The departed one is released from the bonds that tie them to their physical life as we know it; those who remain begin to experience their lives without their physical presence.
Waves of memories, playful moments, and recollections of gentle shared experiences are like a warm blanket, and we can still feel our loved one’s presence.
The cloud of Nostalgia disperses, revealing a deep sense of Loss.
Things said and unsaid; done, not done, not undone.
Longing to remember, to feel lost presence, to hold on to past moments and memories, to let go of pain and anguish.
Freedom – our loved one’s freedom; our freedom. Freedom to move one; freedom to experience their lives, presence, passing, and absence.
Meditation: Earth & Sky
Earth and Sky is a meditation about our lives on Earth and in the Cosmos. An electronic soundscape comprised of recorded and transformed piano sounds and gestures in an immersive sound environment envelopes our being in a series of canons that express how we exist in the passage of life as individuals in concert with others, informed by the past and affecting the future.
GONE Project Background
The keyboard suite GONE was originally composed in 2017 to serve as music for the Emotion Gallery, one scene in the dance theater production “Dancing on the Belly of the Beast,” created by the company Off Leash Area. The show explored adult orphan-hood, and the scene represented a series of emotions that accompany the loss of one’s last living parent. “Dancing on the Belly of the Beast” was performed at the Ritz Theater in Northeast Minneapolis in June 2017. The multi-generational cast were all adult orphans, having lost their parents at various stages of their lives.
The 2017 version was created to be performed live on a digital keyboard sampler along with pre-recorded audio tracks. The music was further developed into a solo keyboard version to be performed on a grand piano or digital keyboard sampler, and it premiered in September 2018 at the Owatonna Art Center to celebrate artist Candy Kuehn’s retrospective exhibition of her wearable art, painted cloth and digital illustration work. Video imagery created by Candy Kuehn was projected onto the wall above the piano for this concert.
The imagery and design has evolved since that original version, creating an immersive experience and a more integrated and flexible performance.