Previous collaborations

Below are previous collaborations between Sarah Heady and Joshua Groffman.

An arrow pointed down

An arrow pointed down was conceived in response to a text by Sarah:

The Hudson is an arrow pointing down (though it flows both ways). The City is a poured-concrete floor onto which all things land, and sometimes break. You can hold—with your hands raised above your head, with a system of pulleys, with a net, standing on a ladder—your life and all its parts in the air.

But there is the fact of gravity.

In this multimedia project staged by One Quiet Plunge, four pairs of composers and visual artists worked together to create fifteen-minute pieces that responded to Sarah’s text and to the idea of the Hudson River as a force in shaping the physical and human geography of life in the Hudson Valley. For Josh’s contribution to the project, he asked a number of acquaintances to shoot video that they felt captured something unique about the area. The resulting imagery ranged widely, from the serenity of ice floes moving south to a jittery, bouncy crossing of the Tappan Zee Bridge in heavy traffic.

Pained in the blue seat, pained in the red seat

If you’ve ridden the commuter rail north from New York City, you’ll know these blue and red seats: for at least twenty years, the cars of Metro-North’s Hudson Line have been upholstered in an alternating pattern of battered, colored pleather. They are, truth be told, quite uncomfortable, yet evocative and somehow timeless to the seasoned traveler.

Sarah set herself the task of riding the train that parallels the Hudson River for 74 miles between Grand Central Terminal and Poughkeepsie—the end of the line—over and over, writing constantly. The resulting series of prose poems, The Hudson Lines, documents the interpenetration of personal, interior thought with the specificities of an ever-shifting external landscape. Josh chose five poems from the group to set for soprano, baritone, and piano.