Talking Music is a variable-sized performance-installation for recording and playback equipped audiences embedded into live music events. It is driven by two audio guides that catalyze discreet interventions.
The first guide is used to trigger vocally distorted, snapshot dictaphone recordings of the music being presented, while the second guide cues the performing audience to recycle, extrapolate upon, and embody elements of those recordings through a series of subtle, and increasingly musical, social acts that take place within intermission or post-event conversation.
Talking Music represents a compositional approach towards a broader and ongoing exploration of audiencing within the fields of concert music and spectatorial art practice more generally.
Talking Music was collaboratively developed with members of SHOAL (Callum Coomber, Kathy Hart, Rosalind Rideout), a performance collective based in Manchester, UK, who performed the piece during its first installation as part of VIRTUALLYREALITY Presents: Submergence/Emergence.
concert-length audio recording
Cues is a concert-length audio recording intended to be listened to by an individual audience member during and alongside the course of a music event. For 90 minutes, the audience member wears an earbud and hears a collection of different sounds and instructions amidst large intervals of silence.
Cues was made for Weekend EP Project.
For information on how to listen to Cues, listen to track 1 below and follow along with the transcript: https://weekendepproject.bandcamp.com/album/cues
download images and instructions
Affective … hopes of being moved to feel … Ripples
chamber ensemble of ten performers/musicians [vocalist, bass flute, bass clarinet, soprano saxophone, violin, cello, double bass, three performers without instruments (two reflectors and one silent witness)] & every musician performing during the course of a concert-length event
Affective … hopes of being moved to feel … Ripples is a combination of two pieces of different durations that overlap each other during the course of a concert-length event. The first and underlying piece is Affective Ripples, which is performed by every member of an ensemble performing during an event and takes place from 28 minutes before performing the first piece listed on the concert program, during other pieces on the same concert, through any and all intervals/intermissions (should there be any), up until the end of the performance of the last piece listed on the concert program. The piece is a realtime performance-installation happening in/at the background of the concert event. The second piece is hopes of being moved to feel, which is performed in sequence with and in-between two other pieces in a concert program of at least four pieces.
Affective Ripples is composed to alter, expand, and sensitise the emotional tenor of a concert before and during the event by turning programme notes into a performed, scripted, and embodied activity, and distributing shared emotional cues across multiple musicians whilst performing and listening to programmed pieces made by myself and other music-makers. hopes of being moved to feel acts as a highly contrived, limited, and immobilising choreographic/theatrical music-making platform for partially revealing and exaggerating the underlying work of Affective Ripples.
Although the two pieces are intended to complement each other, they do not need to always be performed together. Affective Ripples may be performed divorced from hopes of being moved to feel. However, hopes of being moved to feel must always be performed alongside Affective Ripples.
Affective … hopes of being moved to feel … Ripples was composed for London-formed Ensemble x.y and premièred 20 May 2016 at i’klectik art lab in London, UK.
||: trouble letting go :|| – ]HoldingOn[ – 4 Echoes: whistle, whisper, gasp, silence
trio for violin and objects
download: performance package [scores / performance instructions]
read: my reflections on the video score for ]HoldingOn[
||: trouble letting go :|| – ]HoldingOn[ – 4 Echoes: whistle, whisper, gasp, silence is a collection of three pieces/scores to be simultaneously performed together. Towards the end of making these, I came to notice that there are hearts in my limbs that my eyes can cause to pulse. This work was composed for and in collaboration with the 840 concert series for their program ‘New Music for Violin and Objects’.
solo French horn
download: performance package [score / audio references / performance instructions / program note]
read: an interview with Mercé Bosch Sanfelix about the piece
BUZZED is a piece that emerged out of collaboration with hornist, Samuel Stoll. All of the material is derivative of a vocal improvisation focused on sounds produced by sucking air inward through my mouth’s barely-apart lips that I audio recorded whilst ideas of wetness, intimacy and endurance jostled in the back of my mind.
members’ alliterations pursed at the lips
when i rehearsed sounds still
I sent my recording to Samuel along with instructions to simultaneously listen to the recording and audio record his attempt at producing with a French horn the sounds he heard. Afterwards I was sent the resultant recording in return. Working from both recordings, Samuel and I met in person to find a way of making an audio-score that would be indexical of an array of physical actions and sounds to be reproduced in performance. The score only contains recordings of sounds produced by Samuel.
torn ears: all the better
honey under warm milk
Samuel Stoll (French horn)
St Paul’s Hall, Huddersfield, England – 21 February 2016
Composition with the Sound of Its Own Découpage
solo toy piano and video/audio playback
downloads: score / video dependencies
read: Retrospectively Arriving at Composition with the Sound of Its Own Découpage, published in Tempus Konnex
Drawing from the methodological principals of Robert Morris’s similarly titled Box with the Sound of Its Own Making (1961), a wooden cube accompanied by a recording of the sounds produced during its construction, Composition with the Sound of Its Own Découpage explores the possibilities of deriving and structuring a musical composition based on the characteristic qualities of scissors.
Composition with the Sound of Its Own Découpage was written specifically for the 2015 ‘ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS‘ concert series organized by the Inlets Foundation for Experimental Practices and is dedicated to pianist Eric Gottlieb.
Eric Gottlieb (toy piano)
Audiotheque, Miami, Florida, USA – 26 September 2015
read: reflective blog on the background and context for urtext
urtext is a listening/performance piece. In addition to vocal performance by myself, the piece involves me listening/responding to recordings of collaborators I have previously worked with: Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (vocalist) and Sean Dowgray (percussionist).
Michael Baldwin (live vocalist) / Amanda DeBoer Bartlett (recorded vocalist) / Sean Dowgray (recorded percussionist)
Hundred Years Gallery, London, England – 14 February 2015
this is not natural [transfiguration]
double bass / piano / horn
read: interview with Franc, Hilary and Eilon for CeReNeM Journal 5 on the experience of performing this work
On 28-29th July 2014 a two-day workshop with Franc Chamberlain, Hilary Elliott and Eilon Morris was undertaken. Franc, Hilary and Eilon are members of The University of Huddersfield’s drama department. They are all trained in movement, dance and theatre, and graciously agreed to put their training to use working with instruments from the domain of music: a double bass, a piano and a horn. Franc worked with the double bass, Hilary with the piano and Eilon with the horn.
Starting from the residual materials of my 2014 piece this is not natural (written originally from and for musicians Pieter Lenaerts, Tomoko Honda and Corey Klein) we devised a distinct derivation which I have titled this is not natural [transfiguration]. The residual material of the piece consists of video-scores (individual and ensemble), video documentation of rehearsals with premier performers, an orally handed down set of instruction for choreography and sound production, and video of the premier performance.
Franc Chamberlain (double bass) / Hilary Elliott (piano) / Eilon Morris (horn)
Phipps Hall, Huddersfield, England – 29 July 2014
this is not natural
double bass / piano / horn [for Discord Workshop]
download: performance package [score / performance instructions]
read: reflective guest blog on video scores for The Rambler
Pieter Lenaerts (double bass) / Tomoko Honda (piano) / Corey Klein (horn)
St. Paul’s, Huddersfield, England – 24 March 2014
Video of performance with scores
this is about much more than hearing
trombone quintet [for les trombones de bâle]
download: revised score/performance materials
“Always in the visual’s shadow, sound must shout to be heard.”
– Kim-Cohen, Seth. 2009. In the Blink of an Ear: Toward a Non-Cochlear Sonic Art. New York: Continuum. 94.
Kevin Austin / Stephen Menotti / Jon Roskilly / Mike Svoboda / Juna Winston
Unternehmen Mitte, Basel, Switzerland – 19 June 2014
a kind of nostalgia
one guitarists and another performer
a kind of nostalgia is a music-performance piece that explores techniques for distorting musical material through physical mimicry. The piece involves an experienced ‘guitarist’ playing a simple piece of their choosing from memory, and another ‘performer’, who may or may not be an experienced guitarist, holding a guitar. The ‘performer’ is sat across from the’ guitarist’ in a mirrored position and is read like a score, their physical movements being copied by the guitarist. In this performance, the ‘guitarist’ is on the left and the ‘performer’ is on the right.
For more information on the specific performance above and how the body of the ‘performer’ is being read, see the following annotated version of the video below here: https://www.vibby.com/watch?vib=XyZB_rjQJM
Diego Castro / Michael Baldwin
St Paul’s, Huddersfield, England – 17 March 2014
music by Fernando Sor, Op.35 No.17
David Pocknee / Michael Baldwin
Hundred Years Gallery, London, England – 9 May 2014
a tenuous/tentative step towards performative awkwardness/clumsiness
solo voice [for Carl Rosman]
download: research package [performance note / practice score / Rosman performance score / Ensmudgifier application (Mac OS X 10.6 only) / video of premiere]
a tenuous/tentative step towards performative awkwardness/clumsiness pursues an awkward performance situation through the use of an un-intuitive performer/score interface.
Other concerns include:
- Juxtaposing dissimilar re-appropriated musical material
- The potentiality of content similarity to arise as a by-product of programming processes
- Looking at how a work’s identity transforms over consecutive performances
- A questioning of score presentation/function
a tenuous/tentative step towards performative awkwardness/clumsiness was written for Carl Rosman.
St Paul’s, Huddersfield, UK – 15 April 2013
vocalist & percussionist
downloads: performance materials / audio-score
i’m too young to be tired of titles – loosely based on ‘Having Never Written a Note for Percussion’ and some other tune that i can’t remember now
S[h/c]attered Shards of Experience
ephemeral scores made for friends
some ephemera include:
- Ephemera #1
- Ephemera #2
- Ephemera (#2).2
- Ephemera 1/2/2.2[!]3.1-3.3|––
- Ephemera 6 – window shopping
- Ephemera #8
- Ephemera #9(1.2) (Three Coffee Marks)
Writing about project:
- My Master’s Thesis – This thesis is abridged; photographic documentation related to the article on ephemerality has been omitted. A partial collection of photographic documentation may be downloaded here. If interested in obtaining the fully unabridged thesis/documentation please contact me directly.
- An Ephemeral Practice – Presented at the Time Stands Still: Notation in Musical Practice conference. Wesleyan University. |April 5-6, 2013|
Disintegration (2011; revised 2012)
2-Bb soprano saxophones / 1-Eb baritone saxophone
download: score [2012 revision (excerpt)] – blog about the 2012 notation revision
download: score [2011 version]
Various Terrains (≡ degrees of similarity)
Amanda DeBoer Bartlett
Bowling Green, Ohio, USA – 22 April 2012
what ¯lurks beneath¯
bass clarinet / Eb clarinet, C trumpet / Bb piccolo trumpet, trombone / alto trombone
downloads: score / audio+score sync
Richard Haynes (clarinets) / Paul Hübner (trumpets) / Stephen Menotti (trombones)
St Paul’s Cathedral, Huddersfield, UK – 1 December 2011
solo violin [for Mark Minnich]
Bowling Green, Ohio, USA – 5 April 2011
solo trombone [for Kevin Fairbairn]
Essay on Erasure, “Performing Diffraction” by Kevin Fairbairn
Bowling Green, Ohio, US2A – 5 April 2011
Seven Miniatures for Solo Pianist
downloads: score / score+audio sync
St Paul’s, Huddersfield, England – 1 March 2012
solo bass flute [for Kelsi Gautz]
Bowling Green, Ohio, USA – 11 February 2010
Bb clarinet (bass clarinet) / alto saxophone / trombone
Claire Werling (clarinets) / John Cummins (alto saxophone) / Kevin Fairbairn (trombone)
Bowling Green, Ohio, USA – 5 April 2011
speaker / alto flute / percussion [for Laura Laubenthal]
Michael Baldwin (speaker) / Colleen O’Shea (alto flute) / David Harold (percussion)
Bowling Green, Ohio, USA – 5 April 2011
Blood Drenched Moon Against a Subtle Yellow Dusk
horn / trombone / cello
Katey Jahnke (horn) / Kevin Fairbairn (trombone) / Franklin Cox (cello)
solo oboe [for Jacqueline Leclair]
Bowling Green, OH, USA – April 8, 2009
solo cello and ensemble (3-violin / 2-viola / 1-cello / 1-double bass)
soloist: Daniel Rand; ensemble: members of the Bowling Green State University Chamber Orchestra
Bowling Green, OH, USA – November 10, 2008
Mark Minnich / Margaret Townsend
Bowling Green, OH, USA – April 5, 2011
i have found what you are like
soprano and piccolo
Marlayna Maynard (soprano) / Kelsi Gautz (piccolo)
Bowling Green, OH, USA – September 24, 2009