Here is a performance of my piece Sequential Motion for Bassoon and Guitar Controlled Electronics. I’d like to thank Jackie Royce for her fantastic playing on this piece!
Sequential Motion Program Note
In 1995, Luciano Berio completed his Sequenza XII for bassoon. Berio’s Sequenzas were a series of works for solo instrument and an exploration of each instruments particular sound world. They are remarkable works full of creativity, demanding the highest level of technical ability and expressivity from the performer . Sequenza XII was written for French bassoonist, Pascal Gallois. Gallois later compiled a technique book for the bassoon including references to Sequenza XII. The book covered both traditional and extended techniques. In the book Gallois explained the long and collaborative process between Berio and himself in exploring the potential of the instrument. This dialog between composer and performer proved to create a powerful work that was on the cutting edge of technical ability while also being coherent and without meaningless gestures that merely “sounded cool.” Sequenza XII embodies the true potential of artistic collaboration.
Sequential Motion is my small way of paying homage to the masterful work by Berio and the collaborative spirit he had with Gallois. Berio’s score, as well as Gallois’ technique book were constantly at my side during initial sketches. They acted as a road map and inspired me to think differently about writing for bassoon. In the collaborative spirit, I worked with Jackie (Royce) in early prototypes of the piece to understand what worked and what did not. This proved more useful than a thousand hours with awful midi files. The experience of talking, trying, failing, and doing is where I found the art. The process is where we grow and where we find truth.
About the piece and process:
This is the first performance of a piece I am currently redrafting. It is a work for solo voice with two players affecting the sound (bassoonist and electronics) as well as an attempt to incorporate traditional guitar idioms to the execution of the electronics instead of using midi/osc devices. The goal is to find a fluid and expressive way to manipulate electronics using frequency and amplitude tracking of an acoustic instrument (guitar in this case.) I am using max/MSP, including a few crucial externals (sigmund~ by Miller Puckette and vb.stretch~ by Volker Böhm and Nasca Octavian Paul.)