The 60-inch ("Mikrophonie") tam-tam is a large piece of metal, a
proto-sculpture. Brancusi might have altered it: rounding and tapering
the edges, making an oval instead of a circle, polishing the surface
into smooth gold.
The tam-tam is also a vast sound landscape-an instrument that makes
noise at the slightest provocation. A resonance is created just in the
act of walking past the instrument or breathing on it ... that is, if
your ear (or a microphone) is close enough to hear it. Wherever it is
touched with a bow or a hand, it responds with chaotic, unpredictable
complexity, never producing the same sound twice.
I have attempted to work within the givens of this landscape, to allow
some of its implicit contours to reveal themselves-by collecting
sounds, giving them a duration, putting them into a clear structure,
and cutting a path through them with pure tones.
is something like a four-part chorale of bowed sounds, with a melody made up of long sine tones buried in the sounds.
The Endless Column
is a collection of sixty extremely light, close recorded strikes,
randomly ordered, but with a rising scale of sine tones mixed in, more
or less within the central frequency range of the tam-tam (from 50 to
Sculpture for the Blind arranges eight layers of bowed sounds (which
are then released) along a pattern of lengthening durations and
combined with a sine tone trio, again woven into the sounds of the
Hearing Metal 1
is the product of close collaboration between
composer and performer. The piece evolved as Greg made test recordings
based on my suggestions and then sent them to me. As it happened we
feel we fell into its world, in order to move it slightly towards our