Blog

Here’s a video of Heather and I workshopping a new piece that looks like this… Originally made as part of a composition workshop for RMA 2020. See youtube description for video structure.    

We’re very excited to be running a symposium at University of Leeds on 16–17 April 2021. The call document is here (PDF), please share widely across disciplines. Deadline for submissions is Dec. 1st 2020, see call below for details.   Keywords: contingency, materiality, agency, performative ontology, sound, music, responsiveness, intra-action The...

  The work of Alvin Lucier is notable for its focus on sonic phenomena, harnessing material agencies for their indeterminate qualities. Lucier takes a (Cagean) non-interventionist approach to material agency, preferring to let phenomena speak for themselves. Works such as I am Sitting in a Room (1969), and Music on...

This is the first attempt in the project to do two things (explicitly in notation). Under-determine the specific musical material: the notation specifies no pitches or fingerings. Create recursive structures that can be dependent on material-agency. The first point was always a goal of the project, to flip the normal...

How can we break down and understand the possible ways in which we might compose with the material agency* of the clarinet? [* Our use of agency is grounded in Andrew Pickering’s usage in The Mangle of Practice (1995). He describes the interactions between people and material objects as being...

Blogging has been a bit slack in 2020, so I’m getting back on board by putting up some things that were worked on earlier in the year. The initial project stage (Sept–Dec.) was almost entirely open-ended research with Heather (and Jon) exploring the possibilities of the instrument. So to get...

[This is an early study that maintains one fixed aspect (the pitch G6) so that we can work from known fingerings, pieces where the fingerings are not known in advance will come later in the project.] A central question of this research project is to explore variations in the agencies...

  Heather Roche and I had a 3-day lab* in September, the first time we had the chance to begin probing the landscape [the phase space] of the assemblage** that is the entwined multiple of performer and instrument. I’ll discuss the lab itself below, but first a brief aside to...

The literature review will situate the project relative to similar research. Of course the project at the moment is in a highly theoretical phase, once the practical work with Heather begins, then the research will necessarily take different turns as new discoveries are made and assumptions questioned. The literature for...