Saturday, September 17, 2016

"The Opportunity To Define an Ideated System of Change"

"Prototypical Andromania".  For Clavichord.  Bil Smith Composer

During a lecture I have given over the past two years, I challenged the notion of creating the unplayable work.

This is not new.
John Cage from The Freeman Etudes

Consider Cage's Freeman Etudes. Cage, himself thought the work to be unplayable.  I participated in Irvine Arditti's morning lecture and demonstration at Darmstadt in 2012 at the Orangerie and his performance of the etudes that evening in concert.



"Immunodeficiency and Political Appetency"  Bil Smith Composer
As a young pianist based in Paris, Pierre-Laurent Aimard had a reputation for being able to play any piece put in front of him. Gyorgi Ligeti took it as a challenge and he set about writing his etudes some of the most difficult music ever composed for the piano. Aimard, who once said, “We are living in a world that is too easygoing," did eventually master the works. 


Jeremy Denk, who recorded some of the individual works in his most recent CD, stated, “[Ligeti’s] written music at the edge of the human possibility for performing it. That is, so fast and complex as to be almost impossible to keep track of."

Iannis Xenakis' solo piano work Evryali includes a note outside the range of the piano, and some clusters where it is physically impossible for the pianist to reach all the notes at once.

"Stereodidymous" for Contrabassoon.  BilSmith Composer


When we consider unplayable we make take it a step further; what if the instrument as we know it today, is purportedly not physically capable of execution.

Herein lies the opportunity to define an ideated system of change.
"Jogappa Edwin, The Psychopomp Who Steered Our Provincial Daydreaming Mother"
Excerpt from "Snatched"  Bil Smith





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