Apr. 23: Announcing Louisville Broadcast by Lisa Bielawa presented by the Louisville Orchestra
Announcing Louisville Broadcast by Lisa Bielawa
A Spatial Symphony for Hundreds of Musicians
Presented by the Louisville Orchestra as Part of its Creators Corps Program
Two FREE outdoor performances featuring performers from throughout the Louisville area
Sunday, April 23, 2023:
11:30 am-12:15 pm – Shelby Park (600 E. Oak St., Louisville, KY 40203) 7:00-7:45 pm – Big Four Bridge (1101 River Rd., Louisville, KY 40202)
Participants include members of the Louisville Orchestra, Louisville Academy of Music, Louisville Civic Orchestra, University of Louisville Orchestra, VOICES of Kentuckiana, Louisville Leopards & ensembles from Jefferson County Public Schools
Members of the public can join the Louisville Broadcast Town Criers or contribute text to be considered for inclusion in the piece.
Lisa Bielawa: www.lisabielawa.net
Louisville, Kentucky – The Louisville Orchestra (LO) presents LO Creators Corps composer Lisa Bielawa’s Louisville Broadcast, a new 45-minute musical piece for an unlimited number of participants that celebrates two historic sites and the vitality of Louisville’s many musical communities. Two free performances will take place in the open air on April 23, 2023, in Shelby Park (600 E. Oak St.) from 11:30 am-12:15 pm and at Waterfront Park-Big Four Bridge (1101 River Rd.) from 7:00-7:45 pm, turning these sites into vast musical canvases. Bielawa will create the piece specifically for Shelby Park and Waterfront Park-Big Four Bridge, and listeners can walk freely among and between the performers.
Louisville Broadcast will feature hundreds of musicians, celebrating the diversity of Louisville's musical life. A varied roster of over 500 professional, student, and amateur musicians from throughout Jefferson County will join together for the performances, including members of the LO, students and parents from the Louisville Academy of Music, the Louisville Civic Orchestra, the University of Louisville Orchestra, VOICES of Kentuckiana choir, the Louisville Leopards, the Louisville Drumline Academy and ensembles from several JCPS schools: Male High School, Moore High School, Noe Middle School, Johnson Middle School, Farmer Elementary, and Tully Elementary, as well as the Louisville Classical Academy.
In addition, all are invited to join The Town Criers, a community choir that anyone can join regardless of musical background. Bielawa will create music for the Town Criers that is easy to learn without any music-reading skills or training – anyone who wishes to raise their voice can join the performances. To learn more about participating and sign up for more information about joining Louisville Broadcast, visit: www.louisvilleorchestra.org/louisville-broadcast/
The texts Bielawa will be setting in Louisville Broadcast are now being collected from any Louisville residents who want to contribute via the Louisville Orchestra’s website. Answers submitted will be considered for inclusion in the performance and shared online. To contribute, visit: www.louisvilleorchestra.org/louisville-broadcast/
Bielawa has chosen Shelby Park and the Big Four Bridge as performance sites for their historical significance to Louisville. Frederick Law Olmsted’s firm designed Shelby Park in 1907, the only park in Louisville designed explicitly with a Carnegie Library (now the Shelby Park Community Center). It is the geographic anchor of the Shelby Park neighborhood, where the LO has established residences for the Creators Corps (including Bielawa). From 1895 to its decommission in 1969, the Big Four Bridge served as a railroad bridge for freight and passengers connecting Louisville and Southern Indiana. It was converted into a pedestrian bridge in 2013 and has since become an iconic landmark in the city, with 1.5 million pedestrians and cyclists crossing its span each year.
“The goal of Louisville Broadcast is to interpret and celebrate these important public spaces in Louisville, allowing listeners to draw their own meaning and experience from them,” said composer Lisa Bielawa. “I would like to see this event bring about new partnerships, new vitality, and new relationships between different generations, musical traditions and identities, and between arts or music lovers and totally non-arts-identified park-goers enjoying a surprise encounter with music as a ‘happening’ in the middle of their familiar and beloved city. By inviting anyone in the city to contribute their words to be sung by the participating choirs, I can multiply the diversity of Louisvillian voices that speak through the piece. It is the sound of a whole city – its history, people, neighborhoods, and communities.”
“Louisville Broadcast epitomizes the Creators Corps’ mission of creating new work for and with the city of Louisville on a huge scale,” says Jacob Gotlib, Manager of the Creators Corps program at the Louisville Orchestra. “Louisville is renowned for its rich and deep musical culture, but we often work in disparate stylistic, educational, and geographic pockets. The Louisville Orchestra is thrilled to help bring together our diverse musical communities in this historic way.”
The nature of Bielawa’s work is in keeping with the definition of the word broadcast, “cast or scattered in all directions.” Musicians will begin in the center of the sites and disperse outwards according to instructions in Bielawa’s musical score, coordinated only by absolute time and long-distance musical cues. Players will spread out in long chains, flanking the walkways and bridge. Audience members can choose how to hear the pieces, deciding where to move as the musicians disperse. They will be able to take in several different points of view from throughout the site during the performances.
“Louisville is a very musical city, filled with singers, writers, instrumentalists and performers. It is therefore the perfect backdrop for Lisa’s participatory Louisville Broadcast,” said Graham Parker, Chief Executive to the Louisville Orchestra. “We are so excited to see the enthusiasm to be involved as evidenced by the numbers who have signed up, and to partner with Shelby Park, and Waterfront Park to make use of the Big Four Bridge.”
Louisville Broadcast is the result of a collaboration between the Louisville Orchestra and several community organizations, including the Louisville Academy of Music, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville Metro Parks, and Waterfront Park.
“The Louisville Academy of Music is honored to work with Lisa Bielawa and the Louisville Orchestra on this ambitious and unprecedented composition,” said Sara Louise Callaway, Louisville Academy of Music’s Executive Director. “We are excited to bring together our students, families, and teachers to join in this incredible opportunity for our city. This is a new and unique experience for our school and community, and I have loved seeing the joy, creativity, and new relationships sparked through this project.”
“We are excited to partner with the Louisville Orchestra to present Louisville Broadcast on the Big Four Bridge,” said Deborah Bilitski, executive director of Waterfront Park. “As Waterfront Park celebrates the tenth anniversary of the Big Four Bridge throughout the year, this partnership is evidence of the power public spaces hold in bringing our community together. As we continue our work to make our waterfront accessible to everyone, we are excited to support Louisville Orchestra in its mission to make the arts more accessible in our community.”
About Lisa Bielawa’s Broadcast Projects
Composer Lisa Bielawa’s Louisville Broadcast is the latest in a series of broadly inclusive Broadcast works, starting with her large-scale piece Airfield Broadcasts, a massive 60-minute work for hundreds of musicians that premiered on the tarmac of the former Tempelhof Airport in Berlin (Tempelhof Broadcast, May 2013) and Crissy Field in San Francisco (Crissy Broadcast, October 2013). Bielawa turned these former airfields into vast musical canvases as professional, amateur, and student musicians executed a spatial symphony. The series continued with Mauer Broadcast at the site of the former Berlin Wall, commissioned for the 30th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall by Kulturprojekte Berlin in 2019; Broadcast from Home, developed remotely during the early days of the pandemic lockdown in 2020, which included the testimonies and home-recorded voices of over 500 people from six continents worldwide; and Brickyard Broadcast, developed with the city and university in Raleigh, North Carolina, partnering with their libraries to create a performance site entirely in virtual reality.
The San Francisco Chronicle wrote after the Broadcast performances at Crissy Field in San Francisco, “All the boundaries we take for granted in musical life - including those marking the beginning and end of a performance, or separating performers from an audience - are casually obliterated in Crissy Broadcast, composer Lisa Bielawa's magical and heartbreakingly beautiful exercise in public art. What's left is a heightened aesthetic sense of the world around us.”
Now in its inaugural year, the Louisville Orchestra Creators Corps transcends traditional commissioning and composer-in-residence paradigms with a radically new model for collaborating with symphony orchestras in the 21st century. Each year, the orchestra will invite three creators to move to Louisville and live in the Shelby Park neighborhood for at least 30 weeks, serving as staff members with an annual salary of $40,000, health insurance, provided housing, and studio equipment. Throughout their residencies, they will compose new works to be performed by the orchestra, participate in educational and community engagement activities, and be engaged citizens of their neighborhood. Funding for the program comes from a three-year, $750,000 grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and individual donors to the LO.
Join Louisville Broadcast
For more information about participating in The Town Criers or to submit text to be sung in the event, please visit: www.louisvilleorchestra.org/louisville-broadcast
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