Keith Lay Working on New ‘inSPIRE’ Music Project

Throughout the month of October, the Orlando Creative City Project is hosting one arts-inspired performance per day, and this Saturday’s event is the work of Full Sail Music Technology Department Chair and composer Keith Lay.

Keith, who teaches the Music Production Final Project course, will experiment with the speed of sound on Saturday, October 20 at noon as he brings to life “inSPIRE,” a musical project featuring 22 brass musicians playing from various points and elevations throughout downtown Orlando. They’ll all play a piece that Keith has written specifically for the event, and bells and carillons from four nearby churches will be incorporated into the live performance as well.

“This is pretty experimental, and it won’t be rehearsed,” says Keith, who was approached to do this project by Terry Olson, the Director of Orange County Arts & Cultural Affairs. “It’s meant to be kind of like a flash mob, [because] people won’t see where the music is coming from.”

Keith used a city plat map to measure the distances between various buildings throughout downtown Orlando and Lake Eola. He used the speed of sound formula (distance divided by 1,135) to calculate the time it will take for each player’s notes to travel to the bandshell. Depending on where you’re standing downtown, you’ll hear a different version of the composition. Brass players will be playing from locations including the pool deck of The Vue condominium complex, the rooftop of the Library, and two swan boats floating in Lake Eola. Each group of musicians will use an iPhone app designed by Keith’s brother to assure that they are all playing in time.

Keith just wrote the music for the performance this past weekend – he had to wait until the locations were confirmed to know what he was working with sonically – and told us that it will be inspiring, uplifting, and will hopefully bring a smile to everyone’s face. The best spot to stand for the performance will be on the square-patterned pavers along Rosalind Avenue in Lake Eola Park, adjacent to the Disney bandshell.

“If all of the brass players play a note at the same time, from [the bandshell at Lake Eola] it will sound like eight separate notes in a row,” says Keith. “The thermals in the atmosphere will twist and slow the sound.”

Keith asks that if anyone attends and takes cell phone video of the performance to send it to him (via He’s planning on compiling one video of the project. The performance will begin at noon and will last about seven minutes.

“I love sound,” says Keith. “There’s so much fabric and dimension and texture to every sound, and with music it will be more beautiful and interesting.”