The Ceiling Floats Away

Matthew Burtner composer
Rita Dove poet
EcoSono Ensemble

Release Date: January 12, 2018
Catalog #: RR7979
Format: Digital & Physical

Ravello Records proudly presents THE CEILING FLOATS AWAY, a groundbreaking new collaboration between sound artist Matthew Burtner, former US poet laureate Rita Dove, and ecoacoustic ensemble EcoSono. A National Endowment for the Arts commission, The Ceiling Floats Away was awarded a Special Jury Award in the 2016 American Prize in Chamber Music Composition for “Unique Nexus of Acoustics, Electronics and Audience Interaction.” Since its composition, it has been selected for performance at various festivals and venues, including the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s Accelerate Festival.

The Ceiling Floats Away bridges the gap between different spaces: spoken word and song, performance and technology, audience and artist. The chamber ensemble work consists of recitation of Rita Dove’s poetry by the poet herself—sometimes simultaneously with the singer. The performance is enhanced by Nomads, software that enables audience participation through mobile devices. Thirteen pre-composed movements alternate with Audience Creation Bridges, during which the audience uses Nomads to contribute thoughts and reflections on the work by manipulating the music in real time. In this sense, the audience members become active artists alongside composer, poet, and performers. As Burtner writes, “the piece empowers people as creative agents in an artwork without walls, without ceiling.”

Listen

Hear the full album on YouTube

Stream/Buy

Choose your platform

Track Listing & Credits

# Title Composer Performer
01 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Prelude Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:20
02 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 1, November for Beginners Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:43
03 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 1 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:51
04 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 2, Mississippi Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:16
05 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 2 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:21
06 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 3, Describe Yourself in Three Words or Less Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:28
07 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 3 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:03
08 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 4, The Snow King Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 0:51
09 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 4 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:20
10 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 5, Singson Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 0:54
11 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 5 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 0:58
12 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 6, Pithos Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 0:29
13 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 6 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:19
14 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 7, Ozone Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 4:06
15 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 7 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:14
16 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 8, Lint Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:06
17 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 8 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 2:30
18 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 9, Lamentation Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:20
19 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 9 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 0:48
20 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 10, In the Bulrush Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 0:31
21 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 10 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:05
22 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 11, Happenstance Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:00
23 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 11 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:23
24 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 12, Five Elephants Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:23
25 The Ceiling Floats Away: Nomads Audience Creation Bridge 12 Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:29
26 The Ceiling Floats Away: No. 13, Geometry Matthew Burtner Ecosono Ensemble | Lisa Edwards-Burrs, Voice; Kelly Sulick, flute; Shawn Earle, clarinet; Kevin Davis, cello; John Mayhood, piano 1:10

Poetry Rita Dove

The Ceiling Floats Away (2016) by Matthew Burtner and Rita Dove is a concert work and installation for chamber ensemble, spoken and sung voice, computer-generated sound, and a unique mobile phone enabled audience interaction audio-visual software called Nomads. Thirteen composed chamber movements are interspersed with Audience Creation Bridges. During the Bridges, the audience uses Nomads to offer reflections, echoes and thoughts on the music and poetry. These thoughts create a new poetic musical piece generated by the audience and experienced in real time. Through the social dimension of The Ceiling Floats Away, Matthew Burtner and Rita Dove explore the public as artists in dialog with a composed artwork. The piece empowers people as creative agents in an artwork without walls, without ceiling. “The Ceiling Floats Away” was commissioned by a National Endowment for the Arts, “Art Works” grant. The piece was awarded a Special Jury Award in the 2016 American Prize in Chamber Music Composition for “Unique Nexus of Acoustics, Electronics and Audience Interaction”. The piece was premiered at the Intersections Festival in Washington DC, and then selected for performance at the Tom Tom Festival, the Atlas Performing Arts Center and the Smithsonian Natural History Museum’s Accelerate Festival.

Recording & Mixing Audio Engineer Mark Graham

Recorded & mixed The Sound LLC recording studio: www.thesoundstudios.net

Producer Matthew Burtner

The Ceiling Floats Away was created thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Art Works Grant Program.

This publication of this recording is supported by the Institute for the Humanities and Global Cultures at the University of Virginia.

Nomads was developed by the Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG) at the University of Virginia

Ceiling Floats Away NOMADS Team Jon Bellona, Matthew Burtner, & Travis Thatcher

The Interactive Media Research Group (IMRG) develops new technologies for artistic engagements and actions in the creative and academic spheres. Active at the University of Virginia since 2008, projects include new software  development, robotics, human-computer interface hardware, and network applications. IMRG previously developed the Auksalaq Nomads telematic opera software and iPhone Apps, and the MICEtro robotic network conductor for the  500-person human computer MICE Orchestra. In addition to musical concerts, Nomads has been used for concerts, conferences and large lecture classes.

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw
A&R Marina Altschiller

Audio Director Jeff LeRoy
Mastering Levi Brown
Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette

Art & Marketing Director Brett Picknell
Design Emily Roulo

Artist Information

Matthew Burtner

Composer

Matthew Burtner is an Alaskan-born composer and sound artist. An IDEA Award winner and first prize winner of the Musica Nova International Electroacoustic Music composition, Burtner works closely with politicians, scientists, artists, and musicians, creating music in support of sustainability and free imagination. In 2014 he was invited to Brazil to work with former Vice President Al Gore on Climate Reality, and in 2015 he was invited by the US State Department to create the music for former President Barack Obama’s visit to Alaska.

Learn More