|Feathers by Simon Tarr|
It’s taken a lot of composing/thinking/video editing/soldering/rewiring, but Simon and I are just about ready for Zankel this week! It’s such a treat to work on such a wild piece, one that we never would have been able to bring to life under the constraints of a typical orchestra schedule—but at the same time, all those possibilities create *lots* of things that can go wrong, and plenty of brilliant ideas crash and burn for want of an adapter plug. So we’re checking our I’s and crossing our t’s so that we can hopefully spend all of the time in rehearsal experimenting with cool sounds rather than trying to get X device to power on!
These ciruit-bent instruments are a real kick in part because of their utter unpredictability, but that same quality flies in the face of orchestra standards. For the next workshop, we need to be conscious of the inevitable challenges this will create as well as bringing out the happy accidents that will make the piece sound very different than a traditional, rigidly-controlled composition.
Our first priority of this last workshop is to verify that our setup works, after which time Simon will continue to focus on the video and make sure that it is getting enough audio input to make for enough motion (his video is reacting to audio input). The musical side of Glitchscape is not difficult, but as a large amount of the piece involves reacting and improvisatory elements it will require a slow “working through” every couple bars. It is important to work through the piece slowly as much of the interest will come from how we work out different events, so a slow trip through the entire piece is a must. After this has been worked out, we can focus on running the piece continuously.