“The idea is you play the note where it would sound normally on the instrument, and if it's wrong, that becomes part of the piece. That's in the tradition of John Cage, who brought indeterminacy into music composition with rolling dice or using the I Ching to decide where notes go.” - Devin Greenwood
Indeterminacy is the concept behind David Lang’s commissioned composition “Symphony For Broken Instruments”. The 400-piece orchestral performance took place in Philadelphia one cold December evening in 2017 and Greenwood and Arun Pandian captured every note. It was all part of a project called Symphony for a Broken Orchestra in which broken school instruments were collected from the district, used in the performance and then repaired and returned to the school district the following year.
"[We call] it innovative philanthropy. It's about being creative at something that America has been pretty good at, which is bringing private money into the social system to do things that we care about. It's about bringing creativity into that process."
Greenwood and Pandian are now setting out to mix the piece in 3D audio for installation in museums and galleries as part of a push to take the project nationwide.