Long Distance
2015 (22:40)
Text by Scott Brennan
Tenor voice, woodwind octet, piano, percussion

Video: Mimicking Proximity (excerpt 03:20) from Long Distance by Scott Brennan and Wally Gunn, performed by Wally Gunn and American Modern Ensemble, with Spencer Evans and Laura Sheedy, 2015.

Video: Not Long Now (excerpt 04:20) from Long Distance by Scott Brennan and Wally Gunn and, performed by Wally Gunn and American Modern Ensemble, 2015. A film by Terrence Hunt, featuring Laura Sheedy.

Video: Long Distance (full length 27:00) by Scott Brennan and Wally Gunn, performed by Wally Gunn and American Modern Ensemble, with Spencer Evans and Laura Sheedy, 2015.

Lon­g Distance (22:40)
Not Long Now (04:20)
Counting (06:30)
Mimicking Proximity (­03:20)
Four Cities (03:50)
Absence ­Is A Well (04:40)

Program Notes
In 2008, I moved from Melbourne, Australia, to New York, USA, leaving family, friends, a lover. While the excitement of being in a wild, new city prevailed most of the time, homesickness was ever-present, a low hum in the background. Naturally, I noticed others who felt the same way. Expat friends from all over the globe described to me the same curious feelings of elation tempered with sadness that marked the experience of living so far away from home. Back in Australia, Scott Brennan, a comedian, actor and writer, was himself experiencing the same trials induced by long distance relationships. I asked him to collaborate on a musical project about the topic by writing some poetry which I could use as the text for a song cycle. His first poems—beautifully spare and yet still heartbreaking—began to trickle into my email inbox over the next few months, and I wrote some drafts. Since then, I have worked on the piece in fits and starts; needling Scott for another poem here, tinkering with some music there… And now at last there is something to show: five songs stitched together into some kind of narrative. For this performance, I have roped in more talented friends—my Nothing To See Here actor colleagues Laura Sheedy and Spencer Evans, and filmmaker Terrence Hunt—to add action and vision to bring life to the story. Long Distance is part pop record, part song cycle, part music video, part theater show. We hope you enjoy it. Special thanks must go to Scott Brennan, Spencer Evans, Terrence Hunt and Laura Sheedy for their inventiveness, resourcefulness and generosity throughout the making of this project.
– WG, 2015

Flute 1
Flute 2 / piccolo
Oboe 1
Oboe 2
Clarinet in Bb 1
Clarinet in Bb 2
Bassoon 1
Bassoon 2
Percussion: suspended cymbal, wood block, snare drum, bass drum, vibraphone
Tenor voice

First performed by
Wally Gunn and

American Modern Ensemble
Robert Paterson, conductor


Laura Sheedy
Spencer Evans

Film by Terrence Hunt

Long Distance . Catalogue 096 . Copyright © Scott Brennan and Wally Gunn. January 2015