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Last update: June 06, 2010, at 10:33 AM

Live Scores & Screens

an evening with music and visual scores

Concert Live Scores & Screens
Location: Xi'an Conservatory of Music → more info
Date & Time: Friday, July 2nd, 8:30pm

Opening Talk: Professor Bai, Luping, Vice President of Xian Conservatory of Music Best,
Date & Time Friday, July 2nd, 7:30pm
Location: Xi'an Conservatory of Music

About the Concert Event

“Scores & Screens“ is a multifaceted programme that brings together image and sound through synaesthetic connections. This is achieved in part by presenting the “music score“ as an aesthetic image in itself, in part by having static or moving images “seen“ in sound, and finally by also letting the public respond to the visual elements of a still or moving image sonically and affect the performance in turn. Both parts of the Scores & Screens project make a contrast between the "then" of the 1960’s Avant garde and the "now", which in like mind has further extended music notation out of the fixed domain of paper and ink and into the generative art realm of new media.

Participating Artists

Roland Dahinden(CHE)
Hildegard Kleeb (CHE)
Art Clay (USA/CHE)

Programme & Notes

The “Scores & Screens” programme focuses on "working actively with contingencies", which is a metaphor for music created from a score that is more open than closed to its interpretation. The Swiss Duo “Dahinden-Kleeb” are well known for their repertoire of works that shift between composition and improvisation as well as their work in free styled improvisation. The works they have selected here, several of which were written for them, all focus on score methods that could be termed "open or "malleable", where scores are no longer are fixed and with which the artistic license of the interpreter becomes an important aspect of composition as the possibilities of participating in the creative act beyond the role of the traditional interpreter open up.

Works: (tentative)

Panorama, Alvin Lucier
Edges, Christian Wolff
December 1952, Earle Brown
Trois Stoppages Etalon, Art Clay
Ryonji, John Cage

Panorama, Alvin Lucier

Roland Dahinden, Trombone; Hildegard Kleeb, Piano

The basic idea behind the work is to trace the silhouette of the Swiss mountain range. The actual line is „traced“ by the trombone part, while the „height of the peaks is signified by the piano part. Together, the instruments create a sonic portrait of the object in question, the Swiss Mountains. The harmonic relationships between the melodic line created by the glissandi of the trombone and the accompanying chords in the piano is not only to created a sonorities in heterophonic relationship, but to bring certain acoustic phenomena into to the foreground as a compositional element and, of course, for the enjoyment of the audience. The combinations chosen are not only interesting sonorities in themselves, but as they slowly modulate via the slow vertical motion of the glissandi they create microtonal beatings and, for those with finely tuned ears, standing waves, or sweeps of sound through the space.

Edges, Christian Wolff

Roland Dahinden, Alphorn; Hildegard Kleeb, Piano

Each player should have a copy of the score. There can be any number of players. The signs on the score are not primarily what a player plays. They mark out a space or spaces, indicate points, surfaces, routes or limits. A player should play in relation to, in, and around the space thus partly marked out. He can move about in it variously (e.g. in a sequence, or jumping from one point to another), but does not always have to be moving, nor does he have to go everywhere. Insofar as the signs are limits, they can be reached but should not be exploited. The way to a limit need not be continuous, in a straight line. The limits, or points, can be taken at different distances – for example, far away, like the horizon, or close, like a tree with branches overhead – but decide where at any given moment you are. You can also use the signs as cues: wait till you notice one and then respond. Or you can simply play a sign as it is, but only once in a performance.

December 1952, Earle Brown

Hildegard Kleeb, Piano

December 1952 is perhaps Brown's most famous score. It is part of a larger set of unusually notated music called FOLIO. December 1952 consists purely of horizontal and vertical lines varying in width, spread out over the page, it is a landmark piece in the history of graphic notation of music. The role of the performer is to interpret the score visually and translate the graphical information to music. In Brown's notes on the work he even suggests that one consider this 2D space as 3D and imagine moving through it. The other pieces in the collection are not as abstract. Since each is dated individually, one can see that Brown wrote the very abstract December 1952 and then moved back towards forms of notation that contain more specific musical information.

Trois Stoppages Etalon, Art Clay

Roland Dahinden, Trombone Parts, Hildegard Kleeb, Piano, Art Clay, Physical Sequencer

Music based on Duchamp’s Trois Stoppages-Étalon (Three Standard Measures). Using a system of superimpositions a series of intersections is created. The points of intersection provide for a standard used in a compositional process. The piece is composed any instrument or instruments, pitched or un-pitched and performed with or without electronic sounds. The piece consists of nine relative parts in hoc-it counterpoint. Each part contains a determinate timbral curve combined with a relatively indeterminate rhythmic and pitch curve. The nontraditional score of clear plastic folia links itself to the traditional use of this notational medium by the avant garde. The piece encourages, or gives the performer the opportunity through extended notation to exercise his or her own musical ideas within a given frame work.

Ryonji, John Cage

Roland Dahinden, Trombone; Hildegard Kleeb, Prepared Piano, Art Clay, Tape Recordings

In the mountains of kyoto, Japan there is a garden located in a monastery setting. The garden, known under the name `Ryoanji` , consists of an area of raked sand and 15 ordered stones. The sand is raked anew each day in various patterns around the stones. The stones are so placed that side of an imaginary triangle formed by any three of the fifteen stones is duplicated in length. The garden was so conceived that the viewer should be put into a calm state of mind from which to contemplate about man and nature. John Cage used the same name to designate a series of musical and graphic works. Either the name of the garden was used directly or was used a spin off in the work in some manner. The piece Ryoanji for flute and tapes draws a parallel between a garden of sand and stone and one of sounds. Cage describe the compositional process as follows: A system of two square pieces of paper was used. I used the two pieces of paper and made a garden of sounds by partially tracing stones which I had used for drawings and etchings. I wrote a music of glissandi. At those places where more than one line fell into the same vertical system as the result of chance operations, I decided between a maximum of four sound systems.

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