From the Mouths of Monkeys is an 8-channel audio installation commissioned by the ” in Boston, MA, that combines music and spoken voices. The piece is an exploration of personal belief systems using the Chinese Zodiac – and the Year of the Monkey – as a jumping off point.
I recorded conversations with a dozen people (from 0 to 84 years old) who were born in the year of the monkey and asked them questions about their beliefs and the origins of those beliefs, whether they be zodiac-driven, religious, scientific, etc. The topics ranged from fate vs. self-determination to linearity vs. cycles to life after death and many more.
I then composed a four-part site-specific piece of music which acts as an environment within which the voices are arranged by various criteria, both semantic and aesthetic. The four parts are spaced along a leafy walking path in the Greenway, providing listeners with a journey of sorts as they pass by and through the piece. Every utterance listeners hear – in similarity and difference – comes from the mouth of a вЂњmonkeyвЂќ.