Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Sonic obsessions, revisited (1)

There was a time when I had had an obsession with kites, in particular with the use of kite strings to convey and wind to power assorted noise makers (in three categories: clackers, whistlers, things that go buzz). The intention of my research was to eventually put these sounds together into a composition for an ensemble of kite-fliers in a meadow on a windy hilltop, or perhaps a beach.  It would have been very much a Santa Cruz-kind-of-piece.   The materials (seven kites, each with its own set of wind-driven noise-makers) and the variables (distance, timing) were clear, but, not wanting to make a recorded work, a concert was problematic, contingent upon weather.  Abandoned project, but now realize (following Cage and DeMaria) the usefulness and beauty of a contingent situation; there is really no necessity that each performance be "effective" thus this piece might be usefully revisited.  

(Image: the composers David Cope (trumpet), Steed Cowart (umbrella), and Daniel Wolf (kite); publicity photo for April in Santa Cruz Festival, 1983.)

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