Composer Jessica Meyer recently had the kind of experience that gives musicians nightmares. She traveled hundreds of miles, to the desert in northwestern Colorado, to perform a brand new piece in concert on her viola. It was built on layers of electronic loops. But the unique acoustics at the venue -- known simply as The Tank -- caused those loops to dissolve into a squall of feedback.
Jessica was desperate. With just a few hours to go before the performance, she tossed aside the music she’d carefully composed. And she created something unlike anything she’d written before. She called it “Luminous Prison.”
Hear a recording of the world premiere of Jessica Meyer's "Luminous Prison" -- and the emotional backstory of the piece -- in this episode of Centennial Sounds from CPR Classical and Colorado Public Radio.
Explore more music from Jessica Meyer and The Tank:
- Watch Jessica Meyer's TED Talk about her piece "Source of Joy" and how she discovered her voice as a composer
- Hear a Colorado Public Radio News feature about the concert Jessica and Roomful of Teeth performed at The Tank, and how it became a world-famous venue
- Hear a unique rehearsal take of composer Judah Adashi's "My Heart Comes Undone," recorded by Roomful of Teeth inside The Tank during a thunderstorm. It's based on the Bjork track "Unravel."