Outdoor Music IV

Complete Work Title: 

Outdoor Music IV

Performance Medium: 

four trumpets and four pedestrians



Date Composed: 

May 1983; current version revised July 2008.

Performance Information: 

The work is performed at a street intersection; changing traffic signals cue the performers and determine the overall duration.

Performance/Broadcast History: 
  • 15 April 2023; corner of Avenue C and Eagle Drive (Denton, TX)
  • 7 March 2002; corner of Bell and Administration (Denton, TX) — Texas Woman’s University “Wide Awake” Festival
  • 7 June 1996; corner of Archer & Main Street (Tulsa, OK) — Living Arts of Tulsa New Genre Festival
  • 19 May 1989; corner of Fourth Street & North Broadway (Lexington, KY) — Al Fresco Festival [premiere]

Program Notes: 

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.