times square 2000
About the Times Square 2000 Project
In mid-1999, the producers of the official Times Square New Year's Eve 2000 Celebration approached the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University to provide original music for the event. In my capacity as Artist-in-Residence at Peabody, I contributed four original pieces plus an arrangement of Aaron Copland's "Fanfare for the Common Man."

These pieces were performed live in Times Square by conductor/performer Forrest Tobey on Peabody's "virtual orchestra" system at key points during the 24-hour long celebration. "Times Circle," was performed during the opening ceremonies at 6:45am on December 31, 1999, and was followed immediately by my arrangement of "Fanfare for the Common Man" which accompanied the unveiling of the famous Times Square ball. Another piece, "Ascent of Time," recorded by the Peabody Symphony Orchestra, had a prime spot in the show as it was played immediately before the dropping of the ball at midnight. As the composer, I got to stand right in the middle of Times Square as all this was happening. Words cannot describe the excitement and energy of that moment.

If you were watching coverage of this event on any of the major (US) television networks, then you might have caught some of my music. Tobey was the performer in the purple robe waving around what looked like a couple of "magic wands." These are actually Buchla Lightning MIDI controllers and are a part of the virtual orchestra system developed at Peabody. I know ABC covered the whole opening ceremonies and their correspondant unceremoniously mistook my piece "Times Circle" for Copland's "Fanfare." And that orchestral music that was playing in the background in the minutes for midnight was my "Ascent of Time."

Below is a schedule of my music as performed at Times Square. To the rights are links to more information on each of the pieces including excerpts in MP3 format.

 

The Performance Schedule

6:45 AM EST
New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999

MILLENNIUM OPENING CEREMONIES FROM TIMES SQUARE: featuring Charles B. Kim’s original composition Times Circle, performed by Virtual Orchestra virtuoso Forrest Tobey

6:50 AM EST
New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999

RAISING OF THE BALL ABOVE TIMES SQUARE, featuring Kim’s original composition Times Circle, followed by Kim’s arrangement of Aaron Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, performed by Virtual Orchestra virtuoso Forrest Tobey

3:45 AM EST
New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999

CEREMONIAL LIGHTENING OF TIMES SQUARE AT DUSK, featuring Kim’s original composition, Rhythm of Light, performed by Virtual Orchestra virtuoso Forrest Tobey

11:50 PM EST
New Year's Eve, December 31, 1999

COUNT DOWN TO THE NEW YEAR, and INTRODUCTION OF NEW YORK CITY MAYOR RUDOLPH GUILIANI, featuring Kim’s original composition Ascent of Time, performed by Virtual Orchestra virtuoso Forrest Tobey

6:10 AM EST
New Year's Day, January 1, 2000

CLOSING FESTIVITIES featuring Kim’s original music Virtual Orchestra Reprise (Closing Music), performed by Virtual Orchestra virtuoso Forrest Tobey

 


Times Circle

Fanfare for the Common Man

Rhythm of Light

Ascent of Time

Closing Music