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.)