It has been a long time since I’ve written an update on the collaborative project Beavan Flanagan and I set out on about five months ago. Since the last update No sweeter sound than my own name has undergone several changes. The score has been finished, we’ve repurposed a storage stool into a speaker cabinet, experimented with a makeshift bone-conduction swimming cap, and performed the piece across England. Performances have taken place in Coventry, Birmingham, London, and last night in Huddersfield at the inaugural HCMOFF – an unaffiliated fringe event to the Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival (HCMF//). Continue reading
I have been working with Beavan Flanagan to develop a new vocal piece for me titled, no sweeter sound than my own name. Beavan and I are exploring the use of an audio score and along the way I have been writing a few reflections on the experience of ‘reading’ the score. A couple of weeks ago Beavan Flanagan and I met up again to try out an updated audio-score. What follows are my reflections on practicing the original audio-score and reading the updated audio-score. My reflections are accompanied by commentary from Beavan and a video excerpt of the run-throughs we did during our workshops. Continue reading
After visiting Charlie in May, and documenting a realization of few, I asked Charlie if he would be interested in having a free-form conversation with me about the piece and our collaboration. In our conversation we discussed the context from which few emerged, strategies for devising realizations, performative idiosyncrasies, overhearing, the duration of the score and its relation to focus, re-sounding as a possible way of interpreting the work activated by the piece, and an idea of documentation as inviting mishearings.
IN CONVERSATION WITH CHARLIE SDRAULIG ABOUT FEW
Michael Baldwin: Let’s start by talking about the context in which few was written.
Charlie Sdraulig: few is the third piece in a series collectively known as breath. The other two pieces in the series were primarily concerned with developing a vocabulary of sounds for winds predicated on a tenuous physical relationship between a performer and their instrument. The idea for this third breath piece had been percolating for a while and I wasn’t entirely sure what form it would take. Actually, the piece started off quite grandiosely as this kind of epic for slide whistle! Continue reading
Extending from a tradition of verbal scores using text and language to communicate ideas for making music, Nickel’s [factory] is unique in the way its musical and artistic ideas are communicated. As a part of a larger project, Luke has orally expressed a range of ideas to a group of humans who have agreed to act as mentally encapsulated vessels of specific ideas, committing to memory a one-off communicated ur-speech. Upon creating and storing these memories, each human is considered to be a live, embodied manifestation of the original ideas, rendering them into, what Luke would call, living scores (what I consider to be living repositories which store, maintain, and disseminate living scores).
Beavan Flanagan and I recently caught up again to continue exploring and developing his new vocal piece, no sound sweeter than my own name. After our first meeting Beavan constructed a basic, algorithmically generated breathing score. The breathing score is an audio score that provides instructions to the performer for when to breath in and out.
From the mouth of Beavan:
I’ve recently been dealing with issues surrounding notation or perhaps more generally speaking, communication of information. Not wanting Michael to be visually – I’m going to say distracted, but I’m not sure if that’s the right word – I’m trying to find ways to communicate information or instruction in a purely auditory fashion. This has led me to develop an exercise in controlling Michael’s breathing patterns. Continue reading