Pillars of Decay is a setting of music created for post-consumer instruments fabricated from salvage and scrap materials, realized and enhanced with technology. Built and developed both instrumentally and musically over several years, Pillars toured to both traditional concert spaces and rehabilitated venues in cities across the Midwest, celebrating the local individuals and communities that have found new purposes for the discarded buildings, facilities, and materials in their neighborhoods.
The project began with salvage, and Trevor and started writing material as soon as we began exploring different instrumental possibilities. After we had a basic sense of what the project might become, we invited Matt Sargent and Amanda Schoofs to write sets of pieces that we shaped together through workshops. Trevor and I sequenced the works into a an overall formal structure for Pillars, seeking balance in timbre, density, and shape as well as to create a visual journey through the instruments on stage.
Almost all of the acoustic instruments were built out of materials that we salvaged from various sites throughout Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, and in and around New Haven, CT, between 2014-17.