A train was never the A train (2018)
- A train was the C train, but for a few stops it was running on the F track and then the A train became the C train.
Performed by the Aspen Contemporary Ensemble on july 27, 2018.
Timothy Weiss, conductor; Mehrdad Gholami, Flute; Juan Gabriel Olivares, Clarinet; Hannah Weaver, Percussion; Andrew Zhou, Piano; Seohee Min, Violin; Ben Wagner, Viola; Richard Narroway, Cello
“‘A’ Train Was Never the ‘A’ Train” is a piece inspired by the composer’s winding voyage from Manhattan to Brooklyn via the ‘A’ Train. In December, in the midst of crowded, stirring New York City Subway car, the conductor stated that the ‘C’ Train would begin running on the ‘A’ Track due to railway construction. While slowly reaching Brooklyn, however, the conductor announced that the train, already on an unusual path, would follow the ‘F’ Track for the next few stops. To incorporate both a literal and metaphorical illustration—the perpetuity of the subway car’s cacophony, and perhaps the burning continuity of time through one’s existence—the piece has a ceaseless pulsing, kinetic attribute. This concept of a constant element is intermittently fused with the notion of unpredictable and sporadic changes, in this case from ‘A’ Track, to ‘C’ Track, then finally to ‘F’ Track, by key changes from A, to C, then to F. Both the rider and the listener wish to ultimately arrive at Manhattan, but are at times uncontrollably bound to a subway car heading in an unforeseen direction.