Formulas for a 'Next' Music


What so many performers/composers/critics do not grasp is that just because we utilize a different lexicon (musical language), does not suggest that we are not acutely aware of what is expected in the performance.


In Darmstadt in 2010, I watched Brian Ferneyhough drive performers to exceptional lengths to interpret his work precisely. Brian is a nice man, kind, exceptional thinker; yet incredibly in tune with what he composes and expects precision in the execution of his work. Brian stays within the five lines, but let's all understand what he does within those five lines (the staff) has never been approached prior to him. No one has written in the manner he does. He has integrated combinatorial mathematics, multivariate distributions, and variational inference into his compositional syntacticon...no, no one has attempted this before. He is a defining, disruptively inspiring innovator. He's what we define as a KIL...'Key Innovation Leader.'


Perhaps what he has done within the five lines is more defining than those of us who work outside the five lines. I suppose you all guess why I use Brian to make a point here.


If we have a different language; a different expression of intent; something different than the stave/staff of those magnificent five lines, do not think we throw decisions and execution to the wind....quite the opposite.


_Bil Smith