1.5.17

letter to a composer

last night, when i got home, first thing i did was take the score out from my backpack. whether i had time to look at it on the given day or not, ive been carrying it, because it was the 'new' thing, bit like 'new' seedling. cliche, isnt it. but just like a seed, it didnt necessarily 'resemble' what it was to become during the process. being a city kid, when i first saw potato plant in dirt in kindergarten farm, it didnt even make sense to me that potatoes had leaves. WHAT.

and i genuinely was curious to put this 'thing' away. the physical act of 'moving on.' i was rather 'sad' ( ? ) to take it out and put it away, as it meant end of this 'project,' which i enjoyed thoroughly.

going back to fav movie of 2016:
https://youtu.be/tFMo3UJ4B4g

i was fascinated with this alien language form. grown up korean, i learned to write/read korean, basic 1000 chinese letters and then had to work my butt off once i was dropped in english as we moved to toronto when i was 13. i took latin in high school to vent my frustration against mandatory french education (because no one was really ahead in latin...). i started to travel and got basic feel of the romance languages, and so far, the strangest language i encountered first hand was icelandic, couldnt even pronounce any.

and all these linguistic experiences (with passing interest in etymology), i am aware of the role of linguistics in a cultural composite.

western classical music has not changed much in notation, i dont think. or perhaps it's my own familiarity with the notation that i encounter, that i dismiss western classical music notation as 'simple.'  may be it's that im a typical piano player and therefore my vision remains quite narrow.

so when i saw your mixed-bag of notations, the first question was: when you write down these sound events, what were you hearing? for instance, one of the pieces i adore is jolivet's suite in concert for flute + perc 4tet.  i looked over the perc parts many times. but then i never find out: did jolivet knew exactly what he wanted? but doenst it deviate from the performance to performance (human factor, instrument access, etc)? of course it's all approximation (even on a good day), but what are you writing, and how does that translate? isnt this weird, as player would have to form a some sort of super intimate relationship with another conceptor, but largely through a secondary plastic medium...
writing/speech/language do shape and generalise a culture- and if so, where are you coming from- what do you like to do, where do you live, how do you speak and what do you read?

*this comes from my recent reminder from a friend during baroque harpsichord-strings recital, that most italian words has accent/lean on the second syllable (ex. ferrari, spaghetti, etc), so even though the beat falls on strong beats, never to neglect beat 2 and 4, as that's where things actually do happen (supposed to land on 1 and 3).  where are your notations coming from? what kind of soundscape are you in, normally? do you separate your aural space from your creative vs. observant-normal-daily space? what kind of person are you to write this way?

oh dear, that sounds like a personal challenge. haha. im sorry. im just curious. everyone who speaks a bit differently, usually have a narrative or two. im just curious about you as a person, as the sounds you prescribed are interesting to me.

*BTW going back to the arrival, here's an article i enjoyed much.
http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/11/22/a_linguist_on_arrival_s_alien_language.html

second point:
when you write such intricate music- especially for near silence threshold but super dense, some of it reminded me of luigi nono's music, i assume that you rely on the human connect that the player(s) will build with the instruments as well as one another.

in this i had to draw my ears closer to my brain and heart, not only to my 'stuff,' but to perc-piano stuff (as they are intertwined so closely), at some points, players will connect and lean onto one another, to a non-normal level. for example, i didnt 'look' at the perc, but i knew he was 'watching' and so was i.

you, as the composer, have curated this scenario.  but once it's in motion, you are actually not part of this 'intimacy,' how do you feel about that? do you ever feel that you are actually in it with the performers? do you ever expect to be part of it? isnt it weird?  during the perf, i felt familiar, even though my head was rushing a bit, with hoping to execute, observing failures, etc. everything all at once. even the familiarity of 'going through the course of time' with all the variables.

there are few more thoughts but this is plenty long, so i think i may fold it for now.
thanks for taking the time to read it, if you did- perhaps the best thing i can say is that i actually did miss not 'practicing' or 'carrying' this piece in my backpack today.

No comments:

Post a Comment