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April 10, 2011


Assemblage (Horn Chorale)

"In-the-round" concert

~ Milo Fine: B flat/E flat/alto clarinets ~ Scott Newell: tenor sax ~ John O'Brien: cornet, flugelhorn ~ Stefan Kac: tuba ~ Elaine Evans: pocket trumpet ~ Philip Mann: alto/tenor saxes, bass clarinet ~ Ryan Reber: soprano sax ~ Rick Ness: alto sax, B flat clarinet, multi-toned tenor bugle ~ Erkki Huovinen: alto clarinet, harmonica

Attendees will be seated among the musicians and are encouraged to move, occasionally, from chair to chair for new perspectives. Suggested donation $5-10.

Sound sculpting begins at 7p.

goal: extended writing. stay with the piece for a longer while

awakening. eyelids flutter against the light. ears grow attentive to the quality of scuttle in the wet grass. the sound dirt makes settles into the dark underground caverns where earlier conversations & forgotten dreams resume. the matter of matter asks, "what's the punctuation marks of wind?" wraiths walk by without noticing. without asking questions. without any. thing. & run blindly into a brick - well not run actually but, you know - wall. bonk! seeing stars. hands lifting to knots reddening on foreheads. laughter from the peanut gallery. the director waves her hands. signifying. what? put down your brassy fingers. let them shimmy in the cold wind like an olive branch. outside the window. something tiny skims down the ski jump. the wooden one taken down several years ago. (not a word!) running up & down stairs. frantic squirrels. anxious to find the secrets they buried earlier. & the crows watching. amused. as they usually. employing their extra intelligence. to lord it over everyone. else. but respectful of each other. crow jokes. all the crows in on the. jokes. but one. the skinny one. he wants to read poetry. newyorican poets. spoken word poetry. or perhaps crowed poetry. about what growing up poor urban crow has to do. with the joke. (not a lot.) (or every. thing.) depends...

meanwhile. taxi cabs scuttle across the desert sands. ridging the undulating dunes with a zest, a joie de vivre, an inexpressible delight, on their specially inflated tires. running rebels to the current front. dropping them off at the side of the road. with their odd assortment of weaponry. then scooting back into the darkening sky to get more. rebels. & weapons. more young men consumed with the idea of release. yelling "democracy!" to each other across the sandy expanse. while those already there, at the roadside front, aim their weapons toward the past they hope to obliterate. much meandering in the sand. much speculating. not much direction. & then, suddenly, a motor scooter driven by a raccoon crests the dune closes to the besieged city in question - that rechereche past at target. a white flag sproinging on a flexible rod fixed behind the seat of the scooter. raccoon's eyes fixed dead on the young rebels. who stop firing into the past and peer into the present. watch the bandit-faced creature race tendentiously toward them. everyone talking at once. every one spect-u-la-ting. no one having ever before seen a raccoon. or even imagined its existence. much less this furry creature on a vespa. wearing a turban no less. & laughing. or what seems to be laughing. (who knows?) some of the rebels tale aim. follow the oncoming scooter in the cross hairs of their sights. others lower their guns. & begin to hope. begin to believe a surreal moment could be their best chance. the raccoon, all the while, singing to himself (to the tune of "do you know what it means to miss new orleans?") "if i get out of this alive..."

saxophones. upside down question marks. asking, what is this thing we are doing?

a slushy sea washes the sandy shore. spiny sea urchins cling to rocks leaning out of the water toward the moonlit sky. their flower-like bodies ebb & flow with the movement of the salty water. frigate birds course above. wings unmoving. masters of the currents of the wind. spindly trees wander up the hillside. cling to crevices in the rocks. patient. in time their diligent roots, soaking up the tropical rains, will split the implacable rocks. long after the sea urchins have retired. long after the salt in the sea water has settled to the bottom. creating a kind of bonneville salt flat for testing underwater vehicles. for breaking underwater speed records. fueled by water. pointy-nosed to slice through the liquid resistance. & the stars looking down. illuminating these experiments. filtering the energy of a century of centuries of light into the depths. sending their dying light in the direction of a small blue planet so far off there is no notion no understanding no even dream of water. much less of waterfall. or tides. or oceans. water skis. water balloon fights. water parks. waiter pork. wider fork. wait for flack. wafer lack. wafter lark...

if this sound, this chorale of horns, were an organ. what would j.s.bach (or any bach?) make of it? what pineapple of order would he hear would he hear inside these phrases? what poetry would flow? what kind of society would result, two or three centuries later? in other words, would the pied piper lead the children of this world to a different purchase on the fragile limb of existence? than the one we seem to know. the one which shows up on the television news channel. the one responsible for the commercialization of everything. the one sowing us who we think we are...

a voice crying in the. "tw-eedt. tw-eedt." walking in circles. repeat-peat-ing. looking at the ground. for clues. treading n the evidence. eradicating the information. raising the need for new. evidence. new ways of reading. of listen. ing. wait...

somewhere in the plumbing a flap is loose. slaps against the mouth of an open pipe. vibrations. vibe. rations. resonating down into the darkness. five-leafed animals clinging to the inner walls of the pipe. feed on sound. glow as they digest. each one dreaming. of inventing language. only there is no. word for it. just a hint. a glancing thought. a loose flap knocking against that open conduit. air compressed enough to protest. spiders into the dark tunnel. toward the others. toward a dictionary of think. a book of names. for what is happening.

the end of something creeps up on us. up on us. offers a ribbon-wrapped surprise. silence. but it does not stay long. moves, instead. to the next town. leaving in its place. the buzzing and twanging of wires. the slippery passage of ideas along tubes of copper. copper so shiny. a glow makes it way through the plastic sheathing - green yellow red black white - and the outer coating - binding - called line. what we see only hints of what is there. what we hear only the beginning of what the voices are busy at inside the copper. making more than memory. making more than history. making energy. making the present. en. er. gy. of which everything. of which we all. emanate. em. an. ate. emit. e. mit. speak. find. language. make poetry. po. e. try. decide what we are. what we look like. inventing the metaphor of sound to say. what is. happening.

feet planted at right angles. to each. other. heel of right foot. pushed. into arched instep of left. black tennis with white. laces. ochre bowling shoes. each lifting sound. form the old wood floor. each brushing. scuffing. tapping. the wood into eruptions of. music.

before bowing to the approaching dark. the wall rising up from behind the trees to the east. the sky goes gray. clouds blanket out the stars & moon. "oh come on!" the conversation turns to grown old. aging. to ailments endured. to stories of. painters. novelists. dancers & musicians. poets. who accomplished their major work. after turning sixty. or seventy. there is agreement falling into one's artform erases time. giving away energy makes time stop. become something else. something we do not know how to talk about. but will learn. will make our way to a language of understanding. through arblt. of givint cobulos proxinals to the offrenter bingles comp frippery blandis. whenthly polandering inp fwixel nonnelley. pwabble ampskler aod thimble. woe woe woe woe woe woe wy why whay whaytn sandt wandt weren weran whayer flayers tab compt blin sweeble lfenderporbt.

sometimes there is not enough language. sometime there is not enough alphabet. sometime what comes out of a pen is not enough. sometimes the universe of the keyboard seems superfluous. not fast enough. not enough keys. too many doors to open. not enough keys. too many bank vaults and not enough combinations. too many closed doors and not enough pass words. too many secret passages and not enough maps. too many buried treasures and not enough metal detectors. too many secrets and not enough songs. too many darkened windows and not enough rocks. too many addresses and not enough stamps. too many directions and not enough destinations. too many taxis waiting at the airport and not enough places to go. too many cell phones and not enough willing listeners.

do you do it for the audience? if so. and there is not audience. then what? or a tiny one. then what? do you do it for those you do it with? if so. and thy have another agenda. then what? or if they hold an antithetical view. and you are doing it. still doing it. then what? or do you do it for yourself? no audience. no others. and if so. why do it? why not just think about it? why not make it up in your mind? but what is the body for? hands, lips throat and tongue, fingers, breath, lungs, ears, diaphragm, closed yes... what is all that for? or do you do it for it? not even yourself. bit if & if that. then what? & there is one more (at least) possibility. do you do it for...no reason? no thing? no one? do you can't help it? do you not think about it? is this just how you.

an upside down watch can't tell the proper time. a musician standing on her head can still play her banjo. an audience sitting on stage looks backstage for the actors. music created without a score does not seek a director. the language of com position required expanding. to make room. for what goes on in this room. when. everyone listens. then speaks. often too many at once. but without disagreeing. without conflict. disharmonious phrases. sometimes perhaps. but in the name of true democracy. no hidden agenda. no ear marks hidden in the text. only careful speaking. careful listening. thoughtful mingling. willing change of positions. fearless expression of personal. ideas.

my hand. cramps. do your fingers? your lips? your arms or you lungs? we are all playing. this is certainly not work. (and certainly not a wok.) work is what you have to do. not what you want to do. work is what you retire form, play is what you learned as a child. learned how to learn. what you brought with you from the world on the other side of the womb. play is how you discover. move forward. dream. invent. stay alive.

how will this begin to end? how is the closing contained in the opening? when is the finish decided? what does coming to a clean mean? are we out of breath? out of energy? out of ideas? out of time? or have we been out of time all along? why do you ask so many questions? do i?