‹‹ Centennial Sounds

Jessica Meyer’s ‘Luminous Prison’ Is A Moving Meditation Composed For A Unique Venue

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<p>(Photo: Courtesy of the artist)</p>
<p>Composer and violist Jessica Meyer.</p>

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.

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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: