Outsound 2011, #3: The Art of Composition

The Outsound New Music Summit takes place July 17-23, 2011, at the Community Music Center, 544 Capp St., San Francisco.

The Art of Composition (Fri. July 22) is preceded by a Monday evening panel session titled, “Elements of Non-Idiomatic Composition Strategies.”  Academic as the title sounds, it gives you a clue into what to expect from these compositions.  “Non-idiomatic” is the phrase often used for the abstract, seemingly formless improvising pioneered by the likes of Derek Bailey. (I think the phrase is often attributed to him. It’s a quite British phrasing, in any event.)

So, the compositions to expect here go beyond traditional notes and rests, into things like graphical scores — pictures that are left for the performers to interpret.

Click the link above for the full program. It’s got a wide variety of compositional experimentation.  Gino Robair will conduct a series of variable compositions for his Ensemble Aguacalientes, and he’ll also perform a sound-based piece composed by Krystyna Bobrowski. The latter accommodates Robair’s penchant for exploring the sounds of random items; his instruments, as listed on the program, include glass, water, balloons, and kelp.

Andrew Raffo Dewar is presenting a new composition for a quartet that includes Robair, and Tony Dryer (bass) and IOIOI (electric guitar, from Italy) will perform works by Kanoko Nishi.

I feel like I’m giving this concert the shortest writeup of the four, but really, it’s the one that I’m anticipating the most. Something about the process of composition fascinates me. I should have studied more classical music in my youth, I guess.

This program promises to offer a look at the extension of the compositional concept, trusting the musicians with a relatively unconventional level of freedom. And I think the Monday evening talk (that’s tonight, July 18, 7:00-9:00 p.m.) as well as Thursday’s pre-concert Q&A (7:15 p.m.) will be particularly enlightening.

Previous Outsound 2011 posts:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s