The Bridgekeeper and his story have haunted me for some time. I frequently saw him vividly in my mind, particularly during the twilight hours between sleeping and waking. Translating him into a work of music, short stories, or poetry proved several times to be impossible and unjustified. What interest could anyone have in the strange dream of a young composer? It was not until the opportunity to collaborate with a choreographer arose that I was able to appropriately translate the peculiar story in my head into concrete imagery and sound. Spencer Foote was very keen to accept the challenge of portraying something so personal. She crafted a lovely sequence that displayed the Bridgekeeper's plight delicately and eloquently.
Despite the highly specific images driving the dance, the story is meant to be implicit. The music takes advantage of several extended techniques underneath the lid of the piano. This method of playing the piano is known as Interior Piano. It has been used by composers for nearly a century. This work is also my first composition to fully embrace Arvo Pärt's concept of tintinnabuli—a method of composing which involves slow, "bell-like" music.
I recommend watching the dance and listening to the music without thinking too hard about specifics. If successful, The Bridgekeeper will lend you a glimpse into an uncannily familiar domain where the world is much less complicated and much more human.
Spencer Foote: Spencer Foote has been dancing for 18 years and is trained in various styles of dance. She is currently a dance major at Brigham Young University Idaho studying performance and choreography. Spencer has had many choreographed works presented on BYU-Idaho campus, including numbers in the Theater and Dance Department's show, Extravadance. She is a member of BYU-Idaho touring dance company, Dance Alliance.
Piano: Kevin Anthony and Karrine Manning Morris; Dancers: Spencer Foote, Christi Harris, Ashley Mortensen, Marisa Prolo, Jennifer Andrasko, Malia Arnell, Brooke Murphy, and Miranda Carter