On Key Ideation and Innovation in Compositional Tablature Notation...

 Single page from the score  "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

Single page from the score "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

Bil Smith Composer and other members at LNMare  currently working on a detailed paper regarding his 5900 + page score, "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules", premiered April. 2014 by Renee Baker and the Chicago Modern Orchestra Project. 

 Section of a single page from the score  "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

Section of a single page from the score "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

  Single page from the score from   "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

Single page from the score from "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

  Single page from the score from   "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

Single page from the score from "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

 Single layer of 17 from a single page from the score from "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

Single layer of 17 from a single page from the score from "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules"

As composers, we always seek to find that unique realization of our work. John Cage was frequently critical of performances of his work (albeit aleatoric/chance/inderminate) simply because the performers (and in one case, the NY Philharmonic) did not read his instructions. While many find it ironic, he was incredibly specific and demanding of the performers.

 Image from Layer 3/ Page 16 of Performance Notes.  Total of 17 layers.

Image from Layer 3/ Page 16 of Performance Notes.  Total of 17 layers.

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.

 Image layer 12/ 39% Opacity of Page 1390 of the Performance Notes

Image layer 12/ 39% Opacity of Page 1390 of the Performance Notes

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.'

- Bil Smith Composer

 

Perhaps what Ferneyhough 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 we use Brian to make a point here...

 Final page of score part for Vibraphone (excerpt from my article forthcoming on 'Medium'

Final page of score part for Vibraphone (excerpt from my article forthcoming on 'Medium'

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.