a performance dialogue

Thursday, December 6, 2007

pages and infinty quotients

With the flute material I have started thinking in terms of 'pages' rather than books. The page torn from a book has a high 'infinity quotient' as there could be any number of other pages. A page taken at random could have any kind or quantity or arrangement of information. There are of course many precedents for this in music, starting with Cage. At this stage for me it is, as much as anything a device to keep the palette 'open' and keep the sense of exploration and responsiveness to the fore.

This opens up the idea that there could be different kinds of material generated in numerous different ways within a piece. I am currently working on pre-composed material but I want to leave space for devising material with performers within the development period, in collaboration with Carol and also with Marcus.

There is an inherent openness then to the possible order of events. The 'generic' and multiple identity of the piece becomes stronger too. Some pages are instrument-specific, some are open to being played on any instrument, others might be transcribed between instruments.

On Friday 14th I will be working with Katie and exploring the 'spaces' made by moving between different fingerings outside the normal 12-note chromatic for which the flute is designed. The timbre becomes unstable and you discover 'half dimensions' in the sound-world. Working with Katie, we will find ways of fingering and refining each gesture to reap full colouristic value from it, a process of mapping the abstract musical gestures onto the body of the flute.

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