Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Still here, still horning

Sorry for the lack of posts but life has been busy the past few weeks travelling between Chicago and Cleveland one week and Chicago and Calgary the next. That being said work on Stockhausen has not slowed and new ideas and concepts are filling the air as I practise.

To elaborate on that I have been busy conceptualising Nebadon for the last few week since I have a great majority of the technical demands under my fingers it is time to really get into the heart of the work. An interesting thing about Nebadon is that it is a work by Stockhausen where he does not retain the same absolute control over the performer that he does in many of his other works. There are next to no dynamic markings of any kind, instead we are left with the instruction that the horn is to be always present over the recording. Now in once sense this does direct the player to perhaps force things or to limit their dynamics even though the horn is amplified, we as the performer need to be very aware how we are interacting with the tape part in regards to register and the natural carrying power (as well as how they respond to amplification).

Luckily this is not my first rodeo, I have performed several amplified works in the past and am slightly comfortable knowing where I need to really produce a great deal of sound and where I can lay back. This ties into an earlier post as well in regards to studying the electronic part, more often than not in a work like this there will be moments of very dense sound, and moments where the electronic part is more transparent. Taking this into account and since Stockhausen is allowing the horn player to have some freedom this has been a focus for me, where can I find conventional musical elements that I can highlight.

The next challenge has been the analysis, anyone who is friends with me on Facebook saw posts I made with photos of the score heavily marked in pencil crayon trying to pull apart Stockhausen's music. This really aids me in gaining an understanding of what is going on. In addition, since this has to be memorized I can't over emphasise the importance of knowing this work inside out and backwards.

It took me some time but I was able to unlock some brief moments of the work (I will elaborate on this in a later post) and it never continues to amaze me that a work that appears on the surface to be so overwhelmingly complex is in reality, extremely systematic, and simple.