When Bielawa saw the Tiber walkway site, she recognized it as an ideal environment for her composition Chance Encounter, which was written expressly for performance in transient public spaces. The piece uses an opera singer and a chamber orchestra in a completely non-traditional setting. Composed for renowned soprano Susan Narucki, the 35-minute piece is designed so that the musicians arrive from all over the city, ready to play, and it is not prescribed where and how the audience should or might sit to enjoy the music.
The soprano’s sung ‘libretto’ is comprised entirely of utterances that Bielawa overheard over the course of a full year of travel, in transient public spaces around the world – Rome, Taipei, Anchorage, Salzburg, Dallas and beyond. These captured phrases are organized into four song-arias: "Topos Nostalgia," "Drama/Self-Pity," "Nothing" and "Aimlessness Song."
The musicians in this performance are appropriately from both the United States – the Brooklyn Rider String Quartet – and Italy – the Blue Chamber Orchestra.