Between Thought and Sound

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Last night I went to the opening of the graphic score exhibition at The Kitchen. There’s nothing like starting the season with a gathering of one’s clan. I was there only for the last half hour but it definitely felt like a NY new music “everyone who’s anyone” kind of thing. I won’t mention everyone I talked to (you know who you are), but I do wish I had more than just a brief greeting with Alison Knowles. I find her work and history fascinating. She has recently been making these wonderful handmade-paper musical instruments that sound great and look beautiful. I first met her years ago during one of Phil Corner’s all too infrequent visits to NY and I tagged along for dinner at her place. I must add Alison to my “must call” list. I’d love to find a way to work with her sometime. Paper & glass would be a great combination.

At any rate, The Kitchen exhibit is wonderful! Check it out if you can. It’s difficult to pick out any specific work to write about; everything there is very cool. Although the two video works (by Michael J. Schumacher and Marina Rosenfeld, respectively) stand out, if only for their built in temporal aspects. Scores on paper can certainly represent time in some very exact ways, but now with video, time can not only be shared by sound & silence but also by graphics. And speaking of sound & silence, I was surprised there wasn’t even a page of any Cage scores. It would have been nice to have seen an actual manuscript page of his. But there were some other older pieces I was unaware of; the Lucier and Ashley for example. And there were a few pages from Cardew‘s Treatise. Overall, a very well curated show.

I’m very much looking forward to playing many of these pieces (including Michael’s video work) in the upcoming Ne(x)tworks concert. We’ll be playing select scores from this exhibit on October 10th at The Kitchen. Part of the concert series associated with this exhibition.

Speaking of graphic scores. I just rediscovered the 2 copies of the old Source Magazine I picked up on eBay last year. Amazing. One has the entire score to Cardew’s The Great Learning and the other an actual page from Dick Higgin‘s The Thousand Symphonies. More on these later.

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