sketches and experiments

One of my intentions with “In C” is to play around with the performance directions in order to flesh out other aspects of the sonic pallette of the piece. This week I am playing with a group of nine consecutive phrases and varying the movement scheme. Here is a link to the experimental sketch working with patterns 13 through 21.

This grouping of phrases is a combination of single tones in patterns 15,19,21 along with long tones of pattern 14 and the more rhythmic melody lines in patterns 13,16,17,18, and 20. The recording begins with several voices introducing pattern 13. Pattern 14 brings in the long tones and the F# which is the first modulation in the work as a whole. Once all the patterns are present, I started moving the voices into one of the single tone phrases to end.

The single note patterns are interesting to me because they each have a unique placement and presence. Pattern 15 is a quick sixteenth note in an 8 pulse phrase coming in on the first pulse. Pattern 19 is a dotted quarter note in 6 pulse phrase coming in on the fourth pulse. Patten 21 is a dotted half note held for the duration of a 12 pulse phrase. The sixteenth note in pattern 15 gets easily lost in the shuffle of the more melodic phrases which are also sixteenth note patterns. When that pattern is played it will benefit from a very strong attack to give it more presence. Pattern 21, on the other hand, has tremendous presence as it is held for 12 pulses.

So this recording ends with all the voices on one of those single note patterns. Once I had brought all the patterns and voices, I arbitrarily moved each one to the nearest single tone pattern. This meant that some of the voices moved backward, which is not usually done when performing this work. This is an example of a kind of “unison” moment that could be used during a performance. I think it will be interesting to play around with orchestrating unique combinations of phrases and movement when we play the piece live.

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