NEW WRITINGS OF SOUND AND MUSIC// Dean Rosenthal // Stones/ Water/ Time/ Breath
A: The form is text-based, sometimes referred to as a « verbal notation ». My text score can be considered an experiment that moves musicians and non-musicians to action. By allowing for a flexible interpretation that can be performed by anyone who is able to follow simple instructions, the performance is kept open to listening and playing in a new way that allows for freedom and plasticity. This comes from the form of writing a musical notation with text.
2. How do you think your proposal can be interpreted?
A: So far, my piece has been interpreted in several ways. Performers have gone to bodies of water, lakes and ponds, and interpreted the score in a straightforward way. That is, they follow the instructions (notations) and give life to the piece and the experience. There have also been interpretations that experiment with the visual and conceptual aspect of the performance, which is what you see here in the video. The score can be considered open to all individuals with an interest to perform, not simply trained musicians, and can occur anywhere where there is a body of water. That can be a swimming pool or an ocean or a bathtub. Later, the other factors of the notations enter and many more decisions must be made. How will I choose how many stones I collect? What rhythms do I want to play? When will I end my performance? With whom do I want to perform?
3. What meanings or additional level provides this particular form of writing to the performance and/or to the interpretation of the work?
A: In « Stones/Water/Time/Breath », there is, offered immediately, the aspect of textual interpretation by each performer. In the direction about the materials of my piece, I say « Stones. As many or as few as desired. Maybe they are already there ». Here, individual interpreters will understand these notations as both suggestions and directions. Perhaps they will choose x-amount of stones, perhaps they will collect those stones at the site of performance, or perhaps they will collect the stones earlier. But they are required to collect stones. The ambiguity, this other level, occurs in the act of comprehension. I see many other ambiguities like this in the score, each offered as a choice and an instruction – a new kind of notation.
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