Work almost done
Well, everything has been finished and sent to Amsterdam.
The work on the piece, now entitled Equivalents, has been important for me this year acting as a counterbalance for the other increasingly less traditional ‘compositional’ work I’ve done this year to complete my Masters. In this respect, it has proved an invaluable experience.
The title, Equivalents, alludes to the controversial series of works by artist Carl Andre. His Equivalents I-VIII series (pictured) consist of the same number of identical bricks arranged in different ways (it’s worth noting that each Equivalent can also, and usually are, shown separately).
Something additionally important for me was that Andre also made a subsequent work, Cuts, (pictured below) which was a ‘negative’ of Equivalents I-VIII.
In short, these two works, both individually and conjointly, were very appealing to me. It’s becoming increasingly common that visual art is the impetus for me to create something, culminating in me actually regarding it as unnecessary to limit myself to activities specifically ‘composerly’ in medium. Taking a pointer from the first (and my favourite) generation of conceptual artists, I believe the idea to be the most essential thing for a piece for work - the medium I then choose to render it is of secondary concern.
In my work, this doesn’t mean that the idea is something concrete that can be cogently intimated to someone prior to completion of the work. Calibrating with artist Joseph Kosuth, if I’m asked about work I’m currently involved with, I’m likely to be fairly resistant (not to say incompetent!) in disclosing specifics as this instigates a process of self-sloganizing and ‘canning’ of a work before it has even been completed – hence my timidity in writing many blog entries here!
It’s also worth adding that I haven’t written any of this information in the programme note for the piece; I don’t see the role of the programme note as being some instantaneous ‘way in’ for a majority of audience members reading it. Resultantly, my recent programme notes can seem rather abstract, however, perhaps that’s only because they’re in written language, a medium most consider to be an exemplar of clarity.
The final hurdle will be the rehearsals and the performance, I’ll most likely close my eyes for the latter, the idea of a room full of people listening to my humble offering absolutely..!!…well, lets just say I imagine that I will wish to be somewhere else!
Thanks in advance to the Nieuw Ensemble, Joël Bons and the profound Pat Allison (whose piece I very much look forward to hearing) – Equivalents is dedicated to them. I’d also like to thanks Robbert van Steijn, Heidi Johnson, Stef and Ed for their help, support and company during the whole project.