Poster by J.S. Adams.
Over the past couple of years I’ve been working on a series of sound rows for various instruments including double bass, cello, electronics, and alto saxophone. Sam Byrd, a percussionist I often have the pleasure of playing with, has recorded three versions of Sound Row No. 7. His thoughtful interpretations are available here, on his website.
(A general description of the series, from the performer’s note:
The idea behind the sound rows is a simple one: Take a closed, ordered set of sound events, and play each event once, in order, with a discernible rest in between each event. These events are made up of sounds, gestures, pitches and articulations realized through conventional and extended techniques; the scores are presented as lists of simple verbal instructions.
The purpose of the sound row is to draw out as much timbral or other sonic variation as can be had with a single gesture. Latent within the rows’ limited material is the possibility of sonic variety—a possibility arising from the potential richness in color harbored within each sound, pitch or gesture. The realization of this sonic richness is a function of the performer’s choices and preferences which, when realized, can make of each sound in the row a kind of theme liable to variation. Gestures can—and inevitably will—reflect the individual bodily responses of the performer, and these will be different for everyone.)
Project 6’27” is a collaborative project by the fine Venetian saxophonist/multi-instrumentalist Mauro Sambo. Mauro recorded a ground track of percussion, zither and electronics lasting exactly 6 minutes and 27 seconds, and sent it to collaborators who then recorded their own 6’27” long tracks for Mauro to mix into the ground track. The piece is always the same and yet always different, thanks to the underlying constant of Mauro’s track and the manifold responses to it coming from a diverse, international group of contributors. As Mauro puts it, “I like the idea of how it can change the work, the infinite possibilities of assimilation and return from the musicians involved.” Fascinating to listen to, and a great pleasure to participate in. My contribution is here.