Sunday, September 4, 2011

Rehearsal spaces

In Mary Sutton's basement, Matt Carlson leads the trio in process-based scores: lovely rotating and hocketing phrases are locked into a steady groove held by the keyboards. Minimalism with slightly melancholy or elegiac tendencies...

Meanwhile, at the Mouth Studio, the chorus has been exploring vocal patterns and physical shapes. Some of these shapes are determined by the score or follow a simple geometry, others are taken from the actions depicted in Brueghel's painting. His dynamic clusters of game-playing children give us body configurations, and we can expand or contract into those arrangements.
The "entropic process" has been one of the most prolific techniques in Children's Games rehearsals - morphing a phrase through rapid and repetitious passing. In this recording, you can hear the development of a sound and its associated melody from the beginning of the process. Starting with the name of a game ("Bowling with Knucklebones"), Elie and Katy face each other, passing the phrase back and forth. Meanwhile, the other four performers take turns pounding rhythmically on the singer's backs. Through incremental change, the phrase mutates, ending in beautiful onomatopoeia bell sounds and trilled tongues. In this way, a melody emerges.

Bowling With Knucklebones by Seth Nehil

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