Matt Van  Brink - composer, pianist, lyricist, educator

Running at the Sunshine (2002)

percussion ensemble (six players) and actors | 23 mins
Written in collaboration with Jesse Jarnow

First performed by Boston University School of Theater & Boston University Percussion Ensemble. Directed and choreographed by Judith Chaffee. Conducted by Jon Bisesi
February 2003, Huntington Theater, Boston

The seven vignettes that make up Running at the Sunshine paint postcard glimpses of the imagined residents of the Sunshine Hotel, which was, in 2003 one of the last remaining flophouses on Manhattan’s Bowery. Jesse Jarnow’s text intersperses the music and each character receives a unique constellation of percussion instruments.

The outer movements set the scene of the swarming world outside the Sunshine. But the inner movements take you inside the Sunshine, and inside the residents’ psyches: Lisa’s calm amid the metallic clamor of a subway, Droger’s mist of memory of former employment, Lewis’s landscapes of vaudeville dreams, Baxter’s precision in bookkeeping, Sang Gyu’s beguiling inner calm, and Shapiro teetering between worlds. These short and evocative episodes remind us not only of New York’s flophouse past, but also that any one of us might have ended up Running at the Sunshine.

Running at the Sunshine from matt van brink on Vimeo.

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