Cornelius Cardew – Treatise

1963-67

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Treatise, Cardew’s seminal graphic score, was written between 1963 and 1967 and consists of 193 pages of lines and various shapes. Although it contains no performance instructions, Treatise was not intended to be improvised straight from the page. + - interpreted a section of the score based on a set of strategies and rules devised by Matthew Shlomowitz and Øyvind Torvund.

Joanna Bailie

Karlheinz Stockhausen, realised Erik Ulman – Plus Minus

1963/2003, for clarinet/bass clarinet, guitar, piano, auxiliary instruments, violin and cello

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In 1963 Karlheinz Stockhausen wrote a composition kit called Plus Minus, adaptable to any instrumentation and duration. Using one to seven given repertoires of chords and auxiliary pitches, one fleshes out one to seven form schemes; each chord is associated with a certain formal archetype, which may replicate itself, change, and die, sometimes passing into a “negative” realm of alien undifferentiation.

Øyvind Torvund – Tune Park

2006

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Tune Park is a piece with verse and refrain. The verses consist of many small phrases that the players put together in new forms and patterns for each performance. It could have the form of lists, chains, call/response, solos, duos etc. Two examples:

  1. A varying chain:
    Bass Clarinet A Bass Clarinet A
    Violin A Violin A
    Cello B Cello B
    Piano B Piano B
    Silence Guitar A-B
  2. Everyone plays the A material, with silences in between
    approximately the same length as A, starting together:

    A A A A A A

The refrain is a more continuous material that has a variation in the overlaying and combination of instruments each time it is played. The piece was written for the + - ensemble in 2006, and it may be performed with any combination of these instruments: portable cd-player, bass clarinet, electric guitar, piano 4 hands (with portable cd player placed on piano), accordion, violin and cello.

Øyvind Torvund

Robert Ashley – In Memorium Esteban Gomez

1963

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This piece comes from a series of four graphic compositions written in 1963, all entitled In Memorium…. The score given by Ashley is a circle composed of dots. The score is read circularly and each dot is a particular unit of time to be determined individually by the performer. Each quadrant of the circle represents either pitch, intensity, density or timbre.

James Saunders – #241104

2004

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Since 2000 I have been working on #[unassigned], an ongoing modular composition which is flexible in its construction, with modules (individual short pieces, drones, fragments, electroacoustic material) being detachable, and appearing in different versions of the piece. The whole #[unassigned] project aims to explore how a change of context or synchronisation affects the way we perceive events. I am interested in the listener gaining an alternative perspective of the music at different hearings, with each reinforcing a global perception of the piece, and one that is subject to (at times radical) change. The nature of the project means that each version features an entirely different instrumentation, duration, and deployment of material, and is composed for a specific performance, with the actual title being derived from the date. There is no definitive score or version of the piece as all display different possibilities within the boundaries of the project and are composed especially for the musicians involved (normally through the use of a combination of new and existing material). I am essentially writing one piece which is always different.

James Saunders

Bryn Harrison – Rise

2003, for clarinet, piano, violin and cello

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Much of my recent music has concentrated on discreet forms of repetition and variation. I find the whole notion of cycles and organic growth fascinating. In this piece it is a series of interwoven ascending lines that endlessly return to their point of origin: the serpent with its tail in its mouth.

Bryn Harrison