Such Strange Gravity: Songs of Gotham

Music by Jeff Tang | Words by Various Artists

A theatrical song cycle. A cultural anthropology. An investigation into a hidden New York. A collection of stories illuminating the mythology of our common subconscious and the characters who inhabit this astonishing city we call home.

Such Strange Gravity explores and deconstructs the mythology of home from first European contact with the indigenous Lenape tribe to the near future. Composer Jeff Tang has worked with a variety of lyricists, playwrights, and poets to interrogate how the identity of a city is created and evolves, the question of whose stories and histories persist or are expunged, and how the process of naming and renaming affects the dominant cultural memory.

Rigorously researched and inspired by factual events, the project uses some as jumping-off points to create new mythologies. Stories include the “sandhogs” who built the subway system, the spectacular 1911 fire that destroyed Coney Island’s Dreamland amusement park, the demise of the Collect Pond, once the primary life-source for generations of the island’s inhabitants, and more. Narratives both large and small from across time will form a mosaic of our great metropolis.

When they dug out the subway tunnels, did they unearth something they should have let sleep? A vagabond whaler finds his ultimate purpose deep underground in a tale of Gothic horror.

A song about a real-life Brooklyn "sidewalk astronomer" and the surprising micro-communities he helps to create.

More musical samples coming soon...