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Perishable Music

Perishable Music

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Published by Federico Llach
Perishable Music installation
Federico Llach
Perishable Music installation
Federico Llach

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Published by: Federico Llach on Apr 28, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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There is a fixed relationship between the space in the score and parts, and the time ofthe music. The notation consists of stemless notes. Its position in space informs the pre-former when to play it. Performes will synchronize with clocks. Clocks should be digitaland should go from 00:00 (min:sec) to 99:59 starting all over again automatically, whichis the most common setting for commercial cooking timers. There should be one syn-chronized clock per stand. For ease of performance, the music is organized in 5 beatsmeasures, so every two measures the number one in the last digit of the clock will coin-cide with the downbeat of the measure. Short vertical lines above staff indicate beats. Ifa note is just to the right of this short line, it should be played just after that beat. Perform-ers should play freely feeling time graphically. For coordinated events, a hand icon witha pointing forefinger may appear emphasizing the rhythmic importance of the start or endof that particular note. Except for a few eighth note rests, no rests are used in the score;i.e., an empty measure or part of a measures should be understood as the correspond-ing rest.THE SCORETransposing instruments are notated in written pitches (not sounding pitches!).There isno need of conductor since performers are synchronizing with clocks; there was even noscore during rehearsals for the premiere of the piece. This present score may be used forstudying purposes, but it may be said that it is written as a sum of parts. Layout of instru-ments is always as follows:clarinetsaxophonepercussionvioladouble bass
for clarinet, alto saxophone, percussion, viola, double bass and paper shredderfederico llach
The Perishable Music installation is about the action of making music and its two-dimensional time operation: the ephemeral quality of the action itself against the perpe-tual renewal of human creative need. The shredding of the already-used scores emphasi-zes the briefness of the performance activity, the remains of which slowly constitute anever-growing mound of disordered matter. On the other hand, the never-ending music –asound that has no beginning or end, but is always happening– and the rotatation of theperformers, both portray the creative process as something that is always renewed.The fact that the installation lasts the entirety of the exhibit arises the question about itslimits. Many great works of contemporary music are conceived as windows that providea view of a much larger developmental process. Inversely, each individual listener forthemselves determines the beginning and end of this sonic event as he or she enters andexits the room at will.The immediate destruction of the score prevents the work from transcending, bringing itcloser to the performative action. Indeed, it acts as a denial to the possibility of possesion,trade, sharing or copying, making debates of ownership and copyright meaningless.Perishable Music adopts the form of well-known formats from the 1960's -the happeningand performance-art- only to find new meanings and questions from our time.Music as an action that is fragile but at the same time continuous, necessary and essen-tial to human culture. Music as a repeated creative process being at the same time mo-mentary and eternal. Music as something triggered by two essential human needs: doingand transcending, surviving and (pro)creating.
The paper shredder should be placed in the center of the performance space, with sevenmusic stands surrounding it. One music stand is for the double bass, two for percussion(one for vibraphone and one for timpani) and the remaining four will be shared betweenclarinet, saxophone and viola.Following the instructions on their parts, performers will shred the already used sheetsand move towards the next designated music stand to continue playing. All the partsshould be placed in the stands before the performance, so that performes will not carryparts with themselves at any time, except for those to be shredded.The following diagram shows the setup for the performance at the McCormick gallery ofthe Santa Barbara Museum of Art. The left wing of the room was left without musicstands because it was too crowded with artwork. Such decisions are to be made accord-ing common sense.
THE SCORE (continued)
Both these signs:are used to incicate that a performer is going to the shredder or taking a break.The following notation was chosen for slurs due to the proximity of notes -graphic nota-tion made it difficult to write a slur in such a small space:
Percussion needed is: one vibraphone, one medium to large-sized timpani (at the discre-tion of the percussionist), one bow and an assortment of mallets.
Each of the performers has one unwritten solo of approximately four minutes. Performersshould improvise in the spirit of the written music, trying to connect the music soundingbefore the solo with the music sounding after the solo.