Saturday, January 23, 2010

Call of the Sea (2007)



first performed by 37 conch shells from the Schubert Club's Kugler Collection

by Philip Blackburn

March 16, 2007

Science Museum of Minnesota, Discovery Hall, St. Paul

Wild Music A Go-Go

LISTEN (Wild Music encore)

LISTEN (Wild Music premiere)

LISTEN (Moorhead State University, 2009)

• For as many conch players as possible playing the Kugler Collection shells. Duration 3-4 mins.
• Memorize these instructions so you don't need to carry anything but your shell
• Ensemble stands surrounding the audience in a circle.
• Choose a phone number you have in your memory (including area code and country code if applicable). This number may be your own, that of a friend, or someone you want to send a message to. All operations are determined by your Number, repeated and interpreted in various ways according to the following scheme:
0 = no sound, no rest, ie delete any zeroes in your Number
1 = one sound for one beat followed by one rest for one beat
2 = sound for two beats, rest for two beats
3 = sound for three beats, rest for three beats
4 = sound for four beats, rest for four beats

Thus, 651 714-4963 (where X = sound and - = rest)
XXXXXX------XXXXX-----X-XXXXXXX-------X-XXXX----XXXX----XXXXXXXXX---------XXXXXX------XXX--- [then repeat as instructed]

Two players select shells near-unison (that produce strong beats when sounded together). Stand close to each other and play one long tone, at least 10" long, changing proximity very slightly to affect the standing waves. Stop as soon as you hear the next soloist.
• One soloist interrupts, using the number: 4 1 1 (XXXX----X-X-)
• Tempo is set by soloist's heart-rate just prior to starting
• Articulate each beat with a staccato tone

• All performers enter together, each articulating your Number in tempo, staccato (sounds and rests will be independent)
• As you reach the end of your Number move on, independently, to SECTION B

Using your same Number, play long tones (the resonant fundamental pitch) for the duration of the digits (no staccato, same rest scheme)

Repeat SECTION B but using staccato breathtone only for the area code, and long air-tones for the remainder of the Number

Sound your Number by slapping the palm of your hand over the mouthpiece in double tempo.

Hold the horn end close to your ear and listen to the ocean until everyone has stopped playing. Then, together, turn the horn around to face the audience. Hold for 10" to encourage listening to the ocean waves.

Put them down gently, together.

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