Monday, June 1, 2009

Architecting About Dance

Thanks to the people who came out to the open rehearsal for The Other Shoe. And thanks to Steve Layton over at Sequenza 21 for alerting their readers about this blog.

There seems to be very little writing out there breaking down the processes of creating music for dance. Although, if anyone out there can direct me to books, interviews, and/or video where composers and choreographers discuss the collaborative process, I'd appreciate it - and I wouldn't be surprised if there's documentation out there that I'm oblivious to.

I named Stravinsky's Les Noces on my "The Other Shoe Mixtape" in part for that piece's use of timbre and rhythm as the main ingredients for its compositional flow. Contrast, the sequencing of so-called musical "blocks", and the use of close intervals for their percussive, ambient, and propulsive effect - these are all elements I'm using in the score for The Other Shoe and are crucial components to Stravinsky's score. I brought up rock music - maybe more accurately so-called "industrial" or "goth" music - in an earlier post as another obvious source for inspiration, and the music for The Other Shoe definitely rocks. Bands like Coil or Neubauten simply go places that are only accessible via the sounds and ritualistic atmospheres that these bands cultivate. They're onto something that I hear as separate from "musical technique".

But compositional flow - the technique of pulling together the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle into a completed picture - that comes (I think...) from listening to extended works like Les Noces or other similarly theatrical works with a similar duration.

More soon...I'd like to go ahead and post a couple of the "demos" I described earlier so readers can hear what Sasha and the dancers are working with at this stage of the process. They should go up soon.

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