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So What Will a Sequenza21 Concert Sound Like Anyhow?

I know I haven’t contributed much to the intellectual discourse on these pages since the new format of the site went live, but–believe me–it hasn’t been that I’ve lost interest. In one of life’s strange convergences, the reformat of Sequenza21 occurred almost simultaneous with my return from China at which point I have plunged myself into a torrent of freelance writing assignments in order to pay for the 82 CDs and suitcase of books I brought back. I’m only now starting to get unburied. Plus, of course, the NewMusicBox deadlines never go away but that’s the same no matter what so it’s no excuse.

Anyway, I wish I could have written that I haven’t had a chance to write in because I’ve been so crazed on a deadline to complete a musical composition.  We all know how much spending time on S21 takes away from composing! Ironically, as luck would have it, Sequenza21 is actually contributing to my work as a composer this month since a piece of my music will be featured on their debut concert next Monday night at the CUNY Graduate Center.

And while I can think of fewer honors greater than having a soloist of the caliber of David Starobin performing a work of mine, part of me wonders if a real “Sequenza 21″ concert ought instead be a group composition that one of us starts (pretending to write a solo work in the Berio tradition), perhaps followed by everyone in the audience sequentially creating variations on it in turn for the rest of the evening. But who knows what else everyone else is cooking up for next week. You’ll just have to show up to find out!

Comments

Comment from CM Zimmermann
Time: November 15, 2006, 12:28 pm

un cadavre exquis.

CMZ

Comment from Frank J. Oteri
Time: November 15, 2006, 12:34 pm

Well most Exquisite Corpse approaches are somewhat different since the person in sequence might not be aware of everything that proceeded it. (I know of a few cases of Exquisite Corpse improvs where the goal was not to inform anyone of anything they were supposed to create work to co-exist with.) And, of course, we know that each and everyone who posts comments to Sequenza21 has thoroughly read and processed every comment in the chain to which the comment is being affixed ;)

Comment from Seth Gordon
Time: November 15, 2006, 1:13 pm

I think it’s a wicked cool idea. I took part in a few of EC-type projects back in the day. They were always fun, though occasionally you run into pranksters for whom the whole point seems to be to make life as difficult as possible for the next person in the chain. There’s a lot of musical EC going on online at any given time, especially in the techno/IDM scene – “remix trees” and the like.

A different style I kind of like is where, rather than a sequential series, everyone is riffing on the same source. I prefer the idea of something where, say, one person comes up with the source material – it could be a written sketch, a collection of samples, whatever – and everyone does their own take on it. Sony’s (formerly Sonic Foundry’s) acidplanet does those regularly – they’ve managed to get everyone from t.A.T.u to Stockhausen(!) to contribute source materials for their contests.

Comment from zeno
Time: November 15, 2006, 1:48 pm

…. part of me wonders if a real “Sequenza 21″ concert ought instead be a group composition that one of us starts (pretending to write a solo work in the Berio tradition), perhaps followed by everyone in the audience sequentially creating variations on it in turn for the rest of the evening…..

FJO

*

I prefer Jerry’s and David’s and their committee’s original concept for next week’s S21 concert, and I wish all the selected composers and participating performers best of luck. I am sure that most audience members will enjoy simply listening to the best emerging 21st c. music.

Comment from Frank J. Oteri
Time: November 15, 2006, 3:35 pm

I prefer Jerry’s and David’s and their committee’s original concept for next week’s S21 concert

So Garth, does that mean that we’ll all finally get the pleasure of meeting you in person at the concert? Hope you can be there!

Comment from David Salvage
Time: November 15, 2006, 11:18 pm

Yo — we’re featured in this week’s Time Out New York… check it out.