Homewood Studios Events Archive
November 9, 2009
IMPROVISED MUSIC AT HOMEWOOD STUDIOS
A new musician joins two of the IM at HS regulars. Who can predict what will occur? Milo Fine: marimba (electronics), bowed cymbals, B flat clarinet (electronics), E flat clarinet, Andrew Raffo Dewar: soprano sax, B flat clarinet, Viv Corringham: voice (electronics).
Stirring the pot of this new improvised music recipe begins at 7p. $5 admission fee - a small price to be present at a moment of invention.
technical delay. recording equipment adjustments. two sound checks. encroaching senility the culprit. third sound check clarifies everything.
the beginning. touch your foot to the floor. do not surrender your balance. prepare yourself for. footsounds of a box elder bug sauntering the rim of a cymbal. flickerings of light & not light. one long breath in the lower register. coming up through the heating grates. all the distractions. all day trying not to.
why does the donation? why does the door? why does the back story? what does the wooden throat request? why does the wall, moving like a butterfly wing? why the space between? why the?
tapdancing squirrels hoping to become words. otters (disney otters) sliding down snowlit hillsides hoping to become phrases. african elephants trudging the edge of the northern desert trying to become a novel. about displacement. about thirst. about not knowing what next. the weather insisting something else should be true. clouds tumbling over a distant mountain ridge write the preface. guess what it says.
can you hold a note? a tone? the way you hold a stone? or your breath? do you want to? or are you anxious for the next? the next? and the next? you want to keep you hands empty for what is coming. for what has 'later' or 'tomorrow' written on it. and how do you to that? how do you remain open to what next? probably by holding a note. a tone. the way you hold a stone.
minute whirlpool. edge of complexity. patterns of light from the passing fire truck falling through the windows. onto the music. the same way societies in the desert southwest fell onto the land. wandered in. blossomed. disappeared. what remains? our curiosity. energy in the ground. energy speaking to our curiosity. music.
what would crickets if? or bats with their? and of course dolphins. was this language? it this was? is was language? language is was? what!
hearing aids designed to produce canceling noise. these assisted ears believe they are creating the sound. make opposite noise to blot it out. deny it. but instead beep ba-leep bit bleep joins this trio. are we then a quartet? or a quintet? because each of my ears does something a little different. a little original. a little risky. a little. what is the space between audience and performer? a risk. a direction i am not in charge of.
turning pages by gesture. from across the. bouncing off walls / ceiling toward each. one flight up the. another. another. two gether. three gether. puff. breath. gone.
not gone. no. still. there. here. spiraling. double helixing into what's not. into a nod toward possible. a language for it. a reaching out to. it flys. away. circles around the edge of the edge. comes back to play. invites. chatters. exhorts. a riffle of tiny stones lets go its grasp on the mountain ridge and. then the grains of hillside, rinsed of dust by their searching, roll to a quiet. near our feet. near enough to be heard. near enough to say what they need. near enough for each of us to.
what sound does a? like breath looking for a lung? like growl looking for a throat? like water longing for a fall? like a bow waiting for rosin? like puddle ice attending a child's winter boot? like a wire fence attending snow.
today the construction crew. with a jackhammer. with a shovel. with a permit from the city. what will archeologists from the future surmise? will they hear the shape of this sound. will they excavate our intentions? will they discover what we were looking for?
and where does encroaching senility go once the instrument is in hand? what happens to frailty or fear once the music has commenced? where does doubt go when we listen?
assemble familiar parts. cut them short. turn them inside. out. backwards. wait. listen to the footsteps. listen. to the floor boards squeak. listen. to the ancient birds forgetting yesterday they were dinosaurs. listen. to the air shriek around their awkward feathers. listen. to wind and feathers becoming friends. listen. to what flying sounds like. and those still. bound to earth. wishing they could.
everything we carry to the moment of listening. everything viv, andrew, milo carried to this playing. some third thing emerges. hovers just outside the gallery windows. a shadow. a thought. a word or phrase. wishing, like a box elder bug, to come in. to scutter under the molding. into the floorboards. become still. remember. recall the moment outside. when everything changed.
mind can't think that fast. so many notes. so quickly. what mind can't think that fast? mine. trained to analyze. mind can easily feel that fast. mind can readily invent that fast. mind has no problem with time. until it decides to think.
something like a sacred sound emerges. everything sending us all toward the same realization. we are energy. we are points of illumination. we are the same thing. as a box elder bug. as a landslide. as a photograph. as a window. as a whisper. as a wish.
sit down for a while. take a load. bend your intentions. into a sculpture the size of vemont. cross all the borders between there and. wait at the bus stop for a sign. the sign is no bus arriving. the direction is clear. you start walking. your sandals make a tinny sound on the sidewalk. the sound bounces up and becomes. the moon waning toward winter. the air around you rattles like an old barn door left slightly open on its sliders. the horses inside know you wait without. they know what you want. they want it too.
can you do that? in the middle of the music? are you allowed? what if they? or if someone? then what will? and who could? well. what I mean is.
put the sound in a corner. see if it bends or breaks. go outside if you want. listen around the edge. listen like a box elder bug. listen like a horse. turn the listening loose. like a fenced animal learning to leap.
pages of a book. book dropped in the street. pages riffling in the wind. moonlight glancing off the moving pages. dusting the street with sounds of the words printed inside. meanings left behind. stuck on the paper. sounds scrawling down the street. an embryonic form looking for its name.
everything changes when the clock. a stranger will walk in the door when. the names of everything will be forgotten if. and the song will not stop for anything. not even for the request of a lost child. or for a wounded wolf. or a fledgling bird urged by instinct, at the edge of its nest, to fly. or the (soon to be) world famous conductor lifting her baton...