Saturday, March 16, 2024

"Xontic Arroyo (Absentia Portrait)" for Trombone, Cello and Piano. Bil Smith Composer

"Xontic Arroyo (Absentia Portrait)"

for Trombone, Cello and Piano.  

Bil Smith Composer

Link to Full Score (PDF)

In contemplating the notational lexicon found within the score of "Xontic Arroyo (Absentia Portrait)" for Trombone, Cello, and Piano, I introduce a certain defiance of traditional figuration, offering a case study in the ethical and philosophical dimensions of musical notation

The decision to eschew immediately legible figuration in favor of a more complex, compound notational lexicon is not merely an aesthetic choice but a principled stance against what I deem to be an inherently regressive adherence to traditional notation systems. Such systems carry a reactionary gravity from which no subject—no matter how ostensibly critical or subversive—can truly escape.

"Xontic Arroyo" thus serves as both a record and a provocateur, engaging in an emerging discourse that seeks to illuminate and challenge the contextual changes, challenges, and possibilities that the discipline of music, and perhaps society more broadly, has thus far preferred to ignore.

The composition invites the performers to consider the notational system not as a neutral tool but as a locus of power, one that shapes the creation, interpretation, and experience of the work.

The composition's challenge to the performers underscores the importance of disciplinary awareness and reflexivity.


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