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aaron foster breylin & luke martin
recursive retent
order reference:   
EWR 2102
aaron foster breylin & luke martin
luke martin & aaron foster breilyn (duet on one piano)



audio excerpt:
►  11:08:00 (08:00)
►  14:28:56 (09:15)
aaron foster breilyn (1988) & luke martin (1992)
recursive retent

01        09:27:37
02        10:04:16
03        10:19:44
04        11:08:00
05        14:28:56
06        14:49:52
07        16:19:59

performed by luke martin & aaron foster breilyn for duet on one piano

recursive retent (score, 2016)
for two pianists, with one piano, for a long time

dedicated to michael pisaro
(because he watched—and liked—star wars)

retent: something that is retained especially in the mind
recursive: a possibly infinite procedure that is determined according to a rule or formula

block >> phrase >> note
a block consists of a phrase from each of the players; phrases are of any number of notes.

players should position themselves in opposite registers of the piano (one high, one low). the dynamic is soft overall, allowing each note to decay fully before the next (the pedal can be held down by something for the duration). each phrase consists of intervals of a 2nd (m/M) or 3rd (m/M) and is followed by a silence approxi- mately equal to its full duration.

around 2 minutes of silence follows each block. blocks begin with a phrase from player 1 in their register, fol- lowed by its repetition by player 2 in their register. these roles should reverse at least once during the perfor- mance (for instance, after a break or during a silence).

if player 2 deviates from player 1’s phrase, player 1 must begin the phrase again immediately. player 2 should still try to complete their repetition of the first phrase before re-initiating their corrected repetition of the original phrase. if they make another error, player 1 again repeats the correct version of the phrase, and so on.
should player 1 also fail to replicate their first phrase, they should stop immediately. player 2 then may begin a new phrase (with the roles reversed).


“the project involves the impossible establishment of a group whose Telos would be to perpetually destroy itself as a group, that is to say, in Nietzschean terms: to enable the group (the Living-Together) to leap beyond ressentiment”
- Roland Barthes, from the zine ‘Friendship as a Way of Life’

this recording consists of excerpts from an eight-hour performance of this piece. when playing we encountered a moment in which the score’s instructions proved inadequate to an unforeseen situation. it is hard to pinpoint exactly when or why this happened. nonetheless, we had to decide (to invent) how in that moment to at once remain abstractly faithful to the score, concretely diverge from it, and also take care of one another in the pro- cess. in this moment we were incorporated into the actualization of a score and a music that was inseparable from our relationship to one another.