top of page

Here, There Are Voices

For Charley Friedman's MIDI-controlled guitar installation, "Soundtracks for the Present Future"

Score sample
Track Name

Visual artist Charley Friedman approached me in 2021 to compose new music for a musical installation on which he was working. "Imagine a room full of guitars," he said, "all played by an unseen hand." The installation would eventually come to life as Soundtracks for the Present Future. Soundtracks assigns each guitar a single note, which can be triggered via MIDI either by a keyboard or pre-composed data.

With my contribution, Here, There Are Voices, I wanted to explore the acoustic guitar's ubiquitous presence in folk and protest music, traditions which are deeply, soulfully important to me. The music is a tapestry designed to be encountered as an installation: I couldn't ensure that a single viewer would hear most or even all of the composition, so I eschewed usual concerns of form, development, and the like. The music evolves slowly, and it ends in parallel to its beginning so it can be looped. Here, There Are Voices derives its structure from the musical allusions running through it. Veiled references tunes by to Woody Guthrie, Pete Seeger, Victor Jara, and others are woven practically everywhere in the piece. My ultimate goal was to create music that one could walk into (and leave) at any given point, and no matter what, feel like they had heard something that sounded vaguely familiar. 

Electronic/installation pieces are available for free download, where possible. Visit Bandcamp.

bottom of page