These sounds have also taught me to take my time. To enter into a deeper listening space. And because this sound world these materials create is unfamiliar and perhaps uncomfortable in a way, it takes a little more time to enter into them. In contrast with a four-to-the-floor 120 BPM track with a groovy baseline — we know what this is and immediately can relax. We’ve heard this before and somewhere in our minds, it goes into a category “familiar”. The unstable, harmonics shifting, buzzing, pitch bending sounds these materials create with the piano and my techniques are brand new.Read More
In about three weeks, I will be presenting work that has been part of a year long enquiry process as part of my Masters course at the Guildhall School. Instead of only showing the final and finished product at the very end, I’ll give weekly installments of how it’s going and what I am discovering.
In essence, my research investigates the in-between and live edge, through emergent relationships between myself, materials from coastlines, and prepared piano. I went from having plans to work with live processing and two instrumentalists, to realizing the acoustic sound of the materials is enough. Now it is a trio of myself, the materials and the piano. This choice felt risky and exposing at first, but later became a liberating one which continues to reveal a deeper trust in the enquiry itself. Less is more, and this research has surely challenged me to strip back to reveal the essence of what is needed.
The materials I am using consist of rocks and shells found in coastlines. These thresholds of land and sea are immeasurable to an exact degree, and because they are in constant flux, the nature of how and where these materials are formed are significant aspects to consider in my enquiry. This juxtaposed with a piano, human made and designed to specific detail, shows how the in-between continues to find new connections and meaning within my work.
If you’d like to geek out a bit more like I did on the impossible task of measuring coastlines, I’d recommend reading a bit on the Coastline Paradox. See here an article well put for those of us who are inquiring minds and not theoretical mathematicians studying fractal geometry.
I’ve been exploring themes this past year revolving around the concept of the in-between, liminal spaces, thresholds, and live edges. The live edge represents the in-between, a space where we can inhabit. Where edge implies a certain kind of binary, either you are on the edge or you are off, a live edge is a “porous membrane”, a non-binary space we can inhabit, and is a place where we can develop skill.Read More