Inspired by a little-known text by photographer Diane Arbus, the Paul Dresher Ensemble & composer/vocalist Amy X Neuburg collaborate on an electroacoustic song cycle featuring ten newly commissioned works from a host of today's most compelling composers presented alongside the images that inspired them.
Writes Dresher: "In exploring ideas, I shared with Amy a prose text that I was considering setting in a composition — Diane Arbus’ 1962 application for a fellowship from the Guggenheim Foundation. In this single, typewritten page she eloquently and poetically defines her then-revolutionary aesthetic, that the commonplace habits, rituals and social spaces of everyday life hold a meaning and importance that will only be understood in the future, because "they will have been so beautiful.""
They Will Have Been So Beautiful features new works by composers Lisa Bielawa, Jay Cloidt, Conrad Cummings, Fred Frith, Guillermo Galindo, Carla Kihlstedt, Ken Ueno, Pamela Z, Dresher and Neuberg. Each composer was asked to select or create one or more photographic images, and to find or create a text connected in some way to the image, and to use these as the basis for their composition. The texts range from the earnest and passionate — an essay by a San Quentin lifer, an ode to a small child, infatuation and desire among the disadvantaged of Mexico City — to the humorous and absurd — anglophilic bath fixtures and an infomercial angrily critiquing late-stage Capitalism.