michael pisaro (1961)
series no. 1)
this piece was, as the title indicates, the
first of the 34 pieces that would eventually become the
in this and all the other pieces in the series, i attempted
the conditions for a harmonic situation without giving any
notes. the main stimulus for this was swell piece (for
(1967) by james tenney (one of the postal pieces). i had
perform that piece several times in 2003/4 and marveled at
group we assembled would find the "right" harmony without
being said. so sometimes was the first piece i made that
tried to do
that: by specifying only numbers and durations of tones and
between them. it is dedicated to tenney.
there is one other condition on each score in the series.
the music is described using text, i thought that other text
the score might have an oblique influence on how the
of what they were doing. in this case the word "sometimes"
comes from a
part of a long poem by oswald egger:
manchmal rufe ich sie nicht auf, bewende mich
noch hin, und gehege etwas, sagbar fast, licht-
siebender stille versiegt, und ich zähle
die ästigen vor meinem nist-fenster, unblumen.
sometimes i don't call them up, turn still more
inward, and preserve something, almost sayable,
sifting silence flows out, and i count
the branching before my nest-window, unflowers.
egger (from room of rumor, translated by michael pisaro
realization for female voice and three electronic musicians
0:00 - 15:00
began working on this piece in preparation for my visit
to madrid in
the summer of 2013. when i arrived it was clear that
musicians had already gone beyond anything envisioned by
sometimes is, like arguably any composition, a framework
to make actual music. the body of the music is created
particular group comes together in a place and performs.
singular. this "body" however is very special: it is a
music i would
never have imaged without this group. here maDam
consists of three
electronic musicians and one female voice, an odd
wholly different methods of sound production at their
extremes. but in
this situation, with these musicians, something
transpires to fuse the
music into an unexpected result. i hear it as a (very
long) song, with
deep silences that come to function as indentations in
(and out of)
time. there is a distinct kind of dry lyricism, making
entry, always held in check, but which gradually infuses
of the room, the way a subtle grey light (a
can reach even the darkest corners.