0807joshuacamp.jpgJoshua Camp, one part of the band One Ring Zero, will be paying tribute to Charles Ives this weekend, 100 years after his ground-breaking piece Central Park In The Dark -- with his own piece honoring Prospect Park. 8 Prospects is a suite for six musicians and "reflects Brooklyn’s most-loved park and a new century of urban sounds." It will be performed the next two Sundays at Brooklyn's Barbès, and hopefully one day in the park it was written for! This week Camp told us about 8 Prospects, its muse, and Charles Ives.

Can you tell us about Charles Ives Central Park in the Dark piece? Central Park In The Dark, is a relatively short orchestral piece Charles Ives wrote in 1906. It's a tone poem of sorts which evokes a peaceful night amongst the grass and trees of the park then contrasts that with the ruckus and noise of the surrounding streets and bars. Rag time music and barroom sing-a-longs are played, mostly at the same time, just like you would hear while walking through Central Park. It's really a revolutionary piece for its time.

How was 8 Prospects inspired by it? 8 Prospects really starts with the same idea of using quotations of popular songs and noises you would hear while walking through the Park. I've expanded the idea to include different times of the day as well as specific events and places within Prospect Park. I even included a quote from 'Hello My Baby, Hello My Darling' that Ives wrote into the original piece, which gives you an idea of what the popular song of 1906 was.

What about Prospect Park was inspiring to you as a musician? A grand public space like Prospect Park is inspiring because you can observe the breadth and depth of a community: it's diversity, it's interest groups, even it's family dynamics. A musician, or any artist really, has to be affected by that because we are constantly reacting to society, and publics parks are where we get to see society at play.

What types of instruments and sounds can we expect to hear during the performances? Well, the instrumentation is a bit unusual, but I think it really works. Two trombones (Curtis Hasselbring and Brian Drye), two violas (Karen Waltuch and Victor Lowrie), violin (Ben Lively), and vibraphone (Matt Moran). It will be a range of sounds from beautiful melodies to squawks and honks, hopefully similar in scope to Ives' original work.

Will the piece ever be performed in Prospect Park? Man, I hope so. People of 'Celebrate Brooklyn' I hope you're reading this!

Do you have any other pieces like this planned for the future? What other NYC landmark could you see using as a muse? I'd love to write a piece about some of the other parks in the city. Maybe a whole cycle of pieces about NYC parks. Or maybe even a piece about the Gowanus Canal!

When did the idea for 8 Prospects come about, and how long did it take to complete? What was your process? I decided to combine my love of Charles Ives with my love of Prospect Park and was lucky enough to get a grant from the Greater New York Arts Dev. Fund of New York, which is administered by the Brooklyn Arts Council. The grant process took about six months, but the writing itself was much shorter: about five to six weeks. I'm still editing up to the last minute, however.

Please share your strangest "only in New York" story. Ok, well I was on the subway platform in midtown during rush hour and watched a full-on brawl between two rats on the subway tracks. Pretty soon there were several of us watching and rooting for either rat to win and when the subway finally came and the rats scampered off, I saw two guys exchange money. New Yorkers will bet on anything, anytime, anywhere! I'm still not sure how they established a clear winner...

Which New Yorker do you most admire? That's tough. There are so many people worthy of admiration living in NYC. I'll say our current governor, David Paterson. He seems like a great consensus builder, which is what we desperately need right now.

What's your idea of a perfect day of recreation in New York? Prospect Park on the weekend, of course! The rose garden in the Botanical Gardens is pretty amazing.

Can you please recommend a good weekend hang-out that isn't unbearably mobbed? I think BAM cinemas can be surprisingly calm and civil compared to some of the other art house cinemas in the city, though they can be unbearably mobbed on occasion too.

What's your current soundtrack to the city? I've really been enjoying the band Tinariwen lately. Their desert blues music blends nicely with the summer concrete and smells.