"5 x 8": Newly commissioned work by composer James Budinich

Tuesday, August 11, 2020
The piece, a collaboration with choreographer Gabrielle Lamb, was a virtual commission by Works & Process at the Guggenheim.
James Budinich

Budinich writes: "I had the great pleasure of working again with the choreographer Gabrielle Lamb on a virtual commission from Works & Process at the Guggenheim. As a response to the pandemic, W&P has been commissioning these short works that exist virtually on their social media and YouTube pages.

Gabrielle had been dancing on a 5x8 Persian rug in her Hamilton Heights apartment during New York’s quarantine this spring, and for our piece she took the rug outside as restrictions in the city eased — with the rug becoming the boundary for her movement, and the source for the piece’s title, 5x8

My composition takes a section of the ground bass from Purcell’s Music for a While, a piece that Gabrielle and I had discussed, especially the lyrics 'Music for a while / Shall all your cares beguile,' and how that resonated with our lives under stay at home restrictions. I recomposed Purcell’s bass line, fitting it into a single key, and layered new material around it, recontextualizing Purcell’s music by taking it out of its own 'home' just as Gabrielle did with her rug."

James Budinich is a Ph.D. candidate in Music Composition in the Duke University Department of Music.