In February, Aaron put on a show of music composed for the event. I wrote this piece, which is meant as a kind of long-distance duet (at first between myself and Aaron, but subsequently for anyone).
In the guitar part, the first movement has pitches but no rhythms; the second movement has rhythms but no pitches. The accompaniment part, on the other hand, is to be completely improvised and pre-recorded. In the end, the idea is for the guitarist to fill in what is missing in the score by improvising with the recording in the moment.
The point of keeping this interaction ‘secret’ until the show is meant not only to simulate what a duet might actually be like, but also to ensure that the choices made by the guitar player with regard to rhythm or pitch are in part reactions to the accompaniment part in real time–in other words, to the point is to make sure that they are improvised as they would be if the duet was playing together in a live situation.
Finally, the instructions dictate that each time this work is performed, the accompaniment recording must be commissioned anew. Repeat performers are fine, as long as the recording is different for each performance. Alternatively, a recording of a full performance of this piece (with both accompaniment and guitar parts) may be used as an accompaniment part in a subsequent performance.”
I am really happy with the way it came out. Aaron knows all the right notes.
HERE is the score.
HERE is the recording from the show:
Of course, I periodically fall in and out of blogging. This is not on account of the fact that blogging is apparently dead (you wouldn’t know it given Aaron’s recent tear), but directly corresponds with periods of flux. In other words, it is difficult to write about what you’re doing when what you’re doing is up in the air.
One thing that I have slowly pieced together for myself during this most recent period of change is not how I am transitioning from one discipline to the next, but how both of them are crucial to make the other work. I enjoy my academic work more after working on music, and vice-versa. This is all to say that as I figure out what I’m doing, I always also feel like returning here to write about it.
At any rate, I’m playing this show tonight, if you’re in Columbus. Alex Burgoyne‘s Small Songs band plays improvised music based on compositions by his young piano students. We’re talking like eight year-olds. More on this and other topics soon.