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Dallas Herndon

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"Valley: Three Corners of Our Room",  An Interdisciplinary Work for Chamber Choir, Solo Instruments, and Electronics


I am a fourth-year Ph.D. student, studying music composition with Elisabet Curbelo. My research interests explore intersections between music and environmentalism, sustainability, climate change activism, and the nature of human perception. My current dissertation research includes an analysis of Ecoacoustics in Matthew Burtner's "Avian Telemetry," as well as my original composition "Valley: Three Corners of Our Room", which is an interdisciplinary work for chamber choir, solo instruments, and electronics, influenced by a variety of environmental themes relating to the Salt Lake Valley area.


"Valley: Three Corners of Our Room" is a three-movement musical work for chamber choir, solo instruments (trumpet and flute), and electronics. The overarching theme of the project incorporates issues of environmentalism, climate change, and sustainability, and each movement (“corner”) seeks to bring awareness of a specific environmental issue that is currently present in the greater Salt Lake Valley area. The project includes collaborations with poet Matty Lane Glasgow, faculty at the University of Utah South Physics Campus Observatory (in the collection and sonification of light pollution data), and salinity and water level data collected from the U.S. Geological Survey. Ultimately, the goal of this project is to bring attention to and convey the growing issues of climate change, including light pollution, noise pollution, and the consequences of the shrinking Great Sale Lake, through the artistic medium of music composition.

Listen to a clip from the composition: