| Section of a single page from the score "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"|
|Single page from the score from "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"|
|Page from the "Performance Notes" of "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"|
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"Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"
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As composers, we always seek to find that unique realization of our work. John Cage was frequently critical of performances of his work (albeit aleatoric/chance/indeterminate) simply because the performers (and in one case, the NY Philharmonic) did not read his instructions. While many find it ironic, he was incredibly specific and demanding of the performers.
What so many performers/composers/critics do not grasp is that just because we utilize a different lexicon (musical language), does not suggest that we are not acutely aware of what is expected in the performance.
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Page 1390 of the Performance Notes
In Darmstadt in 2010, I watched Brian Ferneyhough drive performers to exceptional lengths to interpret his work precisely. Brian is a nice man, kind, exceptional thinker; yet incredibly in tune with what he composes and expects precision in the execution of his work. Brian stays within the five lines, but let's all understand what he does within those five lines (the staff) has never been approached prior to him. No one has written in the manner he does. He has integrated combinatorial mathematics, multivariate distributions, and variational inference into his compositional syntacticon...no, no one has attempted this before. He is a defining, disruptively inspiring innovator. He's what we define as a KIL...'Key Innovation Leader.'
Perhaps what he has done within the five lines is more defining than those of us who work outside the five lines. I suppose you all guess why I use Brian to make a point here.
|Final page of score part for Vibraphone (excerpt from my article forthcoming on 'Medium'|
If we have a different language; a different expression of intent; something different than the stave/staff of those magnificent five lines, do not think we throw decisions and execution to the wind....quite the opposite.