Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Recording: TCML Open Score Ensembles

Artist: Two ad hoc ensembles of participants in the 2016 Toronto Creative Music Lab

Songs: (life's rich) pageant [composer: John Mark Sherlock] + [Alex Mah graphic score]*

Recorded at Ratio (Toronto Creative Music Lab: Open Score Performances), June 21, 2016.

Ensemble Barely There - (life's rich) pageant

<whispered sounds> - [Alex Mah graphic score]

In the midst of sessions of the Toronto Creative Music Lab ("a peer-mentored, five-day workshop for early-career musicians and composers") came this evening at Ratio, a chance for the participants to both show off their chops in an informal setting and encourage some lateral thinking in sight-reading a series of open scores. Leaping into temporary groups, the players would take a couple minutes to digest the pieces' instructions (and come up with a group name) and then have a go.

John Mark Sherlock's piece (originally intended for keyboard ensemble) had a series of nonlinear cells that required a negotiated system of deciding how to proceed, which was tackled here simply by having the players call out the number of next cell they wanted to move to. Some of the other pieces were text or graphic-based, meaning that the execution could be quite different from other renditions of the same score. Blurring the line between a public concert, private rehearsal and camp activity night, this was a loosely-structured evening where the organizers' suggestions at the outset were eventually replaced by the participants' own ideas.

* Does anyone know the title to this one? Please leave a comment!

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