In the iconic short story by Edgar Allan Poe, “The Fall of the House of Usher,” an ever-widening structural fissure culminates in the collapse of the house into the small mountain lake. This crack, repeatedly mentioned by the unnamed narrator, inspired the idea behind this piece. Composed during a 2016 residency at Yaddo, the neo-Gothic artist colony in Saratoga Springs, NY, the fixed audio media includes sounds from a door harp located in Katrina’s room on a top floor in the mansion. These essentially ‘found’ sounds, captured by a fellow artist’s cell phone during a winter tour of the mansion, reflect the epigraph of the story: "Son Coeur est un luth suspend; Sitot qu’on le touché il résonne." Translation: "His heart is a well-tuned lute; should one touch it, it resounds."
Fissure, commissioned by the Panic Duo (Pasha Tseitlin, violin; Nic Gerpe, piano), was most recently performed on July 13, 2017, as part of the series DuoFest, celebrating “LA’s Most Fearless Fusions.” Upcoming performances are scheduled on Oct. 3 at CalArts in the Wild Beast, in a recital given by the Panic Duo, and at the Pasadena Conservatory in February.