Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Element That Defies Description

While completing our last compilation cassette, Great In Bed,
we began feeling dissatisfied with the basic compilation form,
a collection of works by various contributors presented in a
sampler fasion. During the summer we'd been struck favorably
by a cassette of Seiei Jack Nakahara's called The Joke Project.
On it he'd recombined tracks sent to him by cassette artists
from all over the world. We liked the participatory element and
the way Seiei Jack had treated the contributions: he'd brought 
out elements within them, not suomergec them into his own
sound. We began to plan our next compilation with the idea of
expanding upon his concept.
Rather than combine all the tracks ourselves,  however, 
We decided to have participants "play together". This would
be done by trading tracks. Not only would participants send
material to be dubbed, but they would also receive tracks by
other artists to dub onto. In this way more diversity could be
acheived than if we did the mixing.
But the problem of overall form remained. As we began collecting
material we became aware increasingly of our dissatisfaction
with doing a collection of separate pieces. We felt the form
too often resulted in a Dim Sum like listening experience\\
a little bit of this and a little bit of that. The solution to the 
problem appeared, quite literally, in a dream. One about listening to
Wagner'shandling of enorious amounts of melodic and
textural material provided the direction we'd been looking for.
We decided to combine the various contributions into one work,
using them as voices and themes. We would provide the textural
framework when necessary as well as the general form.
The two structural steps involved promise to be an interesting
formal experiement. On the one hand there is the loose, almost
improvisational origin of the basic material and on the other,
the composerly approach to its context. A context which in turn
will be suggested by the original material. Maintaining a balance
between these aspects will be our aim and the conceptual point
of the work.
Of course all of the above considerations are just the frameeork
on which the ultimate result will rest. The ultimate result being hopefully,
 a work of art. And the element which could make it that defies description.

By Carola Von Hoffmannstahl( article from Zambizat Trade Journal 1986)

No comments: