John Teske - October 9th, 2011
For the opening piece, a number of local improvisers and I will
perform a series of graphic scores I composed last year. I had been
thinking a lot about where I put my attention and where we
collectively put our attention; how we can have focus, lose it, and
return to it. These scores are based on the idea of sound coming in
and out of focus. Each improviser reads off the same score, aiming to
realize composition as an ensemble. The scores are simple shapes that
are designed to draw the ear to the subtleties of timbre and texture.
These pieces have been performed a number of times over the last year,
from solos to string quartets to large mixed ensembles. For this
performance, we will be realizing the scores rather quietly. I’ve
found that taking excessive volume out of the equation allows for the
details to be heard more clearly.
You can listen to a recording of the original performance here:
For the improvisation session following, I would hope to contribute
one core idea: that each ensemble might huddle before the
improvisation, pick one or two simple musical ideas to focus on, and
realize it as an ensemble. This may mean that not everyone need to
play at once or that each individual may play a small part that
contributes to the overall sound. In my performance of minimalist
improvisation, the focus required is different, yet very rewarding.