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Outdoor Music IV
four trumpets and four pedestrians
May 1983; current version revised July 2008.
The work is performed at a street intersection; changing traffic signals cue the performers and determine the overall duration.
Outdoor Music is a series of site-specific, interactive works composed between March of 1982 and May of 1983 that are intended to impose a musical framework upon a variety of pre-existing environments. The last in the series, Outdoor Music IV for four trumpets and four pedestrians, was first performed on the corner of Fourth Street and North Broadway in Lexington, Kentucky, on 19 May 1989, as part of the "Al Fresco" music festival at Transylvania University. In this semi-improvisational work, the changing traffic signals guide the trumpet players as the four pedestrian-performers continuously cross the street in accordance with local traffic laws. Actual pedestrians (mingling with the pedestrian-performers) and passing vehicles alike unwittingly participate in the work, calling into question the relationship between the real and the artificial — and thus blurring the boundary between life and art. Outdoor Music IV is intended to bring out the inherent musical and dramatic qualities of city life, elements that are rarely considered by those who populate the urban landscape.