1. Sound Art Piece:
A silent round for at least four single-line instruments of the same type: all instrumentalists will remain silent. No notes will be played. The piece will start with the first instrumentalist “playing” the four-measure phrase – creating the fingerings and breath support etc. for the instrument but not actually playing. The second player will come in phase by one measure after the first player has repeated the phrase a few times (player 2 will start when player 1 is on measure 2). Then player 3 will wait for a few successions and start playing when player 2 in on measure 2. Player 4 will do the same and play one measure behind player 3. Any additional players will follow this same pattern. Then player 1 stops playing – after that, players stop playing when they are done, not in any particular order.
2. Choose 3 pieces of interest from the Collins. Find 3 other pieces of silent sound art that somehow relate to the original works from the Collins. The purpose of this exercise is to uncover new materials — things that are ideally new to you and to the class.
A. Daniel Levitin – Anticipation. This is a sound collage of the moments BEFORE performances begin.
Related Work: Juan Maria Solare – Ambeinte tenso (tense atmosphere). This is simply a score of a rest with a sforzando and a fermata above it. Like Levitin’s work, it seeks to represent the atmosphere present when a performance is happening but no sound has yet occurred. https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=406648659439765&set=a.406648642773100.1073741836.335766703194628&type=3&theater
B. Rory Schackles – Between Ragin, and Hell. This is a piece made from the silent sections between tracks on two full-length records.
Related Work: The band Vulfpeck recently released an album on Spotify entitled “Sleepify.” Like Shackles’ work, the album consists only of tracks of silence. Each are thirty seconds in length. The band encourages their fans to loop the album as they sleep so that the band can collect the royalties from the plays, which is a pretty bold (and ingenious) move. Here’s an article: http://www.npr.org/2014/03/19/291475091/with-ten-songs-of-silence-band-puts-free-tour-on-spotifys-tab
C. No Noise Reductin (Joao Paulo Felciano and Rafael Toral) – 0’0,060” for a Rock’n’Roll Band. A rock band blast full volume for a ridiculously small fraction for a second and the silence afterwards is affected.
Related Work: Much older and longer – Yves Klien – Monotone-Silence Symphony. An orchestra produces a chord for 20 minutes and then there are 20 minutes of silence. A http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/18/arts/music/yves-kleins-monotone-silence-symphony-comes-to-manhattan.html?_r=0
3. 5 pieces of silent sound art that I might make.
A. Communal silence (moments of silence, silent retreats, etc.): record the sounds of an audience during a performance. It is always emphasized that an audience is SILENT, but there is never true silence. There are shuffling sounds, phone buzzes, coughing, whispering, snoring – people can never truly be silent. The final product would be a sound collage of this scene of attempted silence.
B. Silent sounds (sounds beyond human perception): This work would be somewhat of a performance/listening score. The performer would be asked to imitate sounds that cannot be heard – i.e. a flower opening – for an audience.
C. Deafness and listening/sound art: make a video collage of musicians playing passionate, loud sections of solos or ensemble music. Then take away the sound. The video would be projected onto a large screen (or screens) so that the viewer is immersed in the image. The viewer wears soundproofing headphones. The intent would be that the viewer starts to imagine the music being played inside his or her head and hears without hearing.
D. Ma: a musical piece in which the spaces are much greater than the musical notes. The performer conveys a performance atmosphere for the entirety of the piece. It would be a tonal melody but with large spaces in between each note – not so large that the listener loses the melody but large enough that everyone has time to process the silence.
E. Sonic Meditations: A graphic work describing instructions for the listener. It would be a series of concentric circles, and the listener starts in the center of the smallest circle and moves outwards. Levels of sounds in decreasing volume and/or proximity are listed in the circles. The idea is for the listener to increase his or her awareness of sounds in all directions and hear sounds that are usually too quiet or far away to perceive.