o.p.t.i.o.n.s. for double bass

New on Bandcamp, a set of realizations for solo double bass and prepared double bass of graphic scores by composer/trumpeter Bruce Friedman. From the liner note:

O.P.T.I.O.N.S.—which stands for Optional Parameter to Improvise Organized Nascent Sound—is a set of modular, largely indeterminate scores created at the beginning of this century by Los Angeles composer Bruce Friedman. The scores comprise graphic symbols or fragments of conventional musical notation that the performer can combine into larger units as he or she chooses. Macroformal parameters, such as the order which individual elements are arranged and played, repetitions or elisions of elements or combinations of elements, the overall duration of a performance and the like, are left open to the performer’s choices, as are microformal parameters such as the specific pitches, durations, articulations and dynamics of individual elements, as well as local phrasing. O.P.T.I.O.N.S. performances are, in effect, guided improvisations in which the scores limit, but do not overdetermine, any given realization.

O.P.T.I.O.N.S. Nos 1, 2 & 3 are sets of O.P.T.I.O.N.S. modules I’ve assembled into fixed scores on 11” by 17” sheets of paper. Although the placement of elements is fixed, their interpretation is not; they can be read in any order and with any amount of repetition or elision deemed appropriate to any given performance. My interpretations here, for solo double bass and prepared double bass, emphasize the scores’ modularity by using a phrase structure incorporating substantial silences to represent the joints between the modules. The relatively sparse textures and muted dynamics are intended to convey the visual aesthetic of the scores, which is of a particularly spacious and uncluttered elegance.