The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

September 12, 2016

Sanshin, Geometry, and Symphony #1

the transformations

when i fall asleep i worry through measure polytopes (line /
square / cube / hypercube / etc.), projecting them onto the
plane; each _slides_ into the next higher. think of these as
uncomfortable _smears._ when i fall asleep i worry through
simplices (line / triangle / tetrahedron / 4-simplex / etc.),
projecting them onto the plane; each is _pulled_ into the next
higher. i think of sliding - taking everything with one - and
pulling - dragging something out of one - are basic operations
(affine, catastrophic?) that keep me together, much as they
extend and pull apart.

the three pieces of music employ reverse reverberation through
supercollider for the symphony; composed6 also employs inverse
dynamics. the sanshin is the okinawan version of the shamisen,
played with a different form of bachi; i use my fingernails in
place of the plectrum. the instrument can be heard directly
through the maelstrom in movement4 and 5; it disappears in
composed6. i work with pulses and rhythmic murmurs in all three
sections; they're clearest in composed6. all of them are heading
towards and permeating, the potential of the ineffable; all of
them extend what the symphonic means for me, grounded in new
temporalities and dynamics.

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