Turbine Residency

Description
From October 12-26, 2014, I worked with dancers & singers, researched the history of the Fairmount Water Works and met with Philadelphia experts. This was in preparation for TURBINE, a site-responsive performance co-commissioned by Leah Stein Dance Company and the Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia for the 200th anniversary of this historic site.

Video: Planning Turbine


Rehearsals
· on-site singing & movement studies with Leah Stein Dance Company
· attended Mendelssohn Club of Philadelphia Big Sing rehearsal at Girard Chapel

Round Table
· Byron Au Yong, composer
· Michelle Hollander, water resources engineer
· Adam Levine, consultant, Philadelphia Water Department
· Deenah Loeb, executive director, City Parks Association
· Leah Stein, choreographer
· Karen Young, executive director, Fairmount Water Works

Visual Culture Program at the Library Company of Philadelphia
· illustrations & photographs of the Water Works
· found article that talked about the necessary "din of industry"
· noted how smokestacks and pastoral scenes co-existed in paintings

Fairmount Water Works Interpretive Center
· water treatment, hands-on displays, historic details, ecological action steps
· quotes from Charles Dickens and Frances Trollope

Philadelphia Water Department (Philly H20)
· interviewed author/historical consultant Adam Levine
· learned about newspaper clippings & historic cartoons
· received copies of sheet music inspired by the Water Works from the 1800s

Philadelphia Wastewater Treatment Plant
· visit with Adam Levine and Leah Stein
· gathered wood templates from the 1920s
· saw incoming sewage area
· received Imagining Philadelphia: Travelers' Views of the City from 1800 to the Present

River Boat Ride (Schuylkill Banks)
· named Pennsylvania's 2014 River of the Year
· Schuylkill feels more like a canal with concrete sides

Performances
· Eiko: A Body in a Station at 30th Street Station
· Kenny Endo, Kaoru Watanabe, Sō Percussion at Princeton

Guest Teaching & Site Visit
· Science Leadership Academy
· Sidney Hillman Apartments

The Water Works was the first urban public water supply system in the United States. From my visit, I realized that Philadelphia and Seattle are built between two waterways. Moreover, both cities protect and restore urban watersheds. It's great to know these cities advocate for clean water as a civic obligation and human right.
Dedicated to intercultural collaboration, Byron Au Yong composes songs of dislocation, music for a changing world. He teaches in Performing Arts & Social Justice at the University of San Francisco.

Byron Au Yong & Christopher Yohmei Blasdel: BreathPlay
BreathPlay

Byron Au Yong: Kidnapping Water: Bottled Operas
Kidnapping Water:
Bottled Operas
Byron Au Yong: Yiju
YIJU 移居