Saturday, August 28, 2021
Friday, August 27, 2021
During a lecture last week, I challenged the notion of creating the unplayable work. This is not new...consider Cage's Freeman Etudes.
Cage, himself thought the work to be unplayable. I participated in Irvine Arditti's morning sessions at Darmstadt in 2012 at the Orangerie and his performance of the etudes that evening in concert.
When we consider the concept of a work being "unplayable" we may take it a step further; what if the instrument as we know it today, is not physically capable of execution.
Herein lies the opportunity to define an ideated system of change.
Thursday, August 26, 2021
Wednesday, August 25, 2021
Saturday, August 21, 2021
Friday, August 20, 2021
The work of the post-conceptual composer is a contradiction intended to surprise both the listener and infinity. Ideas are the way a listener will refer to this surprise. The composer will state the idea as ludicrously infinite.
For instance, assumptions about the supposed aesthetic autonomy or neutrality of science fiction and fantasy are often explored as a subject in the field of literature, and are then historically and socially mapped out (i.e., ethnographically and or archaeologically) as discursive formations, then (re)framed within the context of The Infinite Library itself.
As such, Institutional Composition seeks to make visible the historically and socially constructed boundaries between inside and outside, public and private. Institutional Composition is often critical of the false separations often made between distinctions of taste and supposedly disinterested aesthetic judgment, and affirms that taste is an institutionally cultivated sensibility that may tend to differ according to the class, ethnic, sexual and gender backgrounds of music's audiences.
The resulting work is meant to sound good. Sometimes the work suggests the form of the composer. I am grateful for the way a score presents itself as an autobiographical product of its creator and his/her place in the infinite. And yet, I have found this gratefulness tends to go awry in expressionist composition.
It looks better when the score may more easily become a metric time element, a kind of objective tool that is an intrinsic part of the composer who is out to avoid subjectivity. This type of work is free even to be a belief, something that shows the size of a metric time element as representative of a belief. The composition is representative of that belief.
Saturday, August 14, 2021
A Word on "Compaction Music" Last year, I led a roundtable lecture on Laboratorie New Music composer’s reductionist pieces titled the “Compaction Series” . With the compaction musics, each piece is typically under 20 seconds and are appropriations of existing works coupled with the composers original work compressed to varying degrees associated with strict rules and guidelines. (Compaction Music 7.4) Generally the pieces, while titled, also include the precise time in each title (“A Flutter Pressure Drop” 7.90445802″). With Compaction Music there is an invitation to listen with an awareness of the construction, an alertness in the background of the experience.
Compactionist Composers are an exclusive challenge-society, a think-tank that seeks to generate pseudo-constraints; these constraints spur the private musical ambitions of its members, and subvert the aesthetic traditions of composition.
Some works of this group are front-loaded, with the constraint or device announced in tandem with the debut of the score—this allows the act of reading to be textured with an editorial or fact-checker’s spectatorship. In some Compactions, the constraint is not made explicit, which allows the act of performing to be infused with a cryptographic undercurrent, a puzzler’s inquiry.
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