Egregoros recorded October 8, 2018

Christos Koulendros – Sidrazzi
Walter Wright – floor percussion

Our weekly rehearsal, Christos brings the Sidrazzi. “… of seven barres and triangular waveshape, a unique timbral variable sawtooth waveshape, it has a new mandala of nodes on the back face”, says Cait-Lonbarde. I have my (on the) floor percussion based around an 18” frame drum, a collection of percussive objects including cymbals, tin cans, paint can lids, a 14” metal salad bowl, various sticks and mallets.

Christos also brings graphic scores, four small ones and a large, longer score. The four small scores represent important concepts used in the large score.

Score #1: Drawn on a 3×5” card. Reading left to right, the red bars, circles, dots, lines and arrows represent playable elements. The bars tell the player to improvise, and the dots indicate the start and end of the improvisation. The length of bar tells the player how long to play, the vertical lines of the background grid are 1 time unit apart. The player follows the arrows from the section to section. At the end of the first improvised section, 4 units in length, the player choses between two arrows, the first lead up towards a line of three circles, the second down to a cluster of circles. The circles above contain horizontal lines, representing sustained sounds. The lower the line within the circle, the lower the sound. Again, reading left to right, the length of the line represent the duration of the sound. In the first circle a mid-range notes starts immediately and is held for 1 time unit. After 1/2 unit a lower note starts and is held for 1 unit. There’s a 1/2 unit rest following the end of the second sound. The player is free to repeat the circle any number of times. However, after finishing the first circle there’s only one way to go, on to circles two and three.

However, after the first improvisation, the player may decide to follow the arrow down to the cluster of five circles. Here the circles are filled with dots not lines indicating percussive not sustained sounds. The dots, again reading left to right, represent short rhythm pattens that can be repeated, within the circle. Again as above, once a circle is completed, the player follows the the arrows to the next section. There are two paths through this cluster of circles and, at the end, an arrow that points back to the line of circles above.

Leaving the circles behind the player moves to two final improvisations. The first 4 units long, followed by a 1 1/2 unit rest or pause, then a final 2 1/2 unit improvisation. The half circle at the right margin represents the end of the score.

Here are two tracks based on this score –
track 01
track 02

Score #2: Drawn on a 3×4” card, actually a piece of paper. Bars arranged in four rows. Reading left to right the first row starts with a 3 1/2 unit (time) rest. The bar tells the player to improvise, continuing to read from left to right, for 11 units. The red dots at either end of the bar, indicate the start and end of the improvisation. Another 3 unit rest then a final short improvisation of 2 1/2 units.

Christos and I use approximately 1 sec as our basic unit. The time units are flexible, up to the player,

The second row begins with an even longer pause, 5 1/2 units. A short improvisation, 3 units. Another pause, 5 units. Ending with a 5 1/2 unit improvisation. The third row has a series of short improvisations, with short rests between. It’s the densest of the rows. The fourth row starts with a long rest of 8 1/2 units followed by an improvisation of 7 units, a 1 unit rest, and a final, 2 1/2 unit improvisation.

Players read the rows from left to right, and are free to play any row, in any order. They can repeat rows. Players drop in and out as they follow the score. There may be times where there is no sound at all.

Here are two tracks based on this score –
track 03
track 04

Score #3: A percussion score allows players to string together a series of rhythm patterns. Starting with the circle on the far left, two groups of two sounds separated by a 1 unit rest. Players may repeat the pattern for as long as they wish then follow the lines to either the circle to the right, another short rhythm pattern, or down to the larger circle containing a random dispersion of dots representing free percussion, a variety of sounds ranging from high to low frequency, or simply, noise.

Players may follow the arc of seven, smaller circles from left to right or right to left, move back and forth between adjacent circles, or drop down to the larger circle. From the larger circle they may jump back to any of the smaller circles. With no start or end points indicated, players may start in any circle, then follow the lines until they “find an end”.

Here are two tracks based on this score –
track 05
track 06

Score 4: So, how do I read/these this score? The first thing I notice is the 3 rows of circles. I assume these represent the basic elements that make up the score. There are large circles, the top and bottom rows, and small circles, the middle row.

The circles in the top row each contain a number of dots arranged in somewhat complex patterns. I assume he dots represent short, percussive sounds. As I read from left to write, along the horizontal axis, I assume the order of the dots establishes timing. I interpret the vertical location of the dot as pitch. For example, the second circle from the left in the top row starts with three percussive events: the first a low sound, the second a mid-range sound, and third both high and low-pitched sounds. The mid-range sound followed by high and low-pitched sounds pattern repeats a couple of times. The pattern ends with a variation. I might play it this way –

  [L] . [m . HL] . [m . HL] . [m . HL] . [m . l . HL]

  h  – high sound, H accent
  m – mid sound, M accent
  l  – low sound, L accent
  .  – rest

The circles in the middle row contain simple dot patterns. Again, I read from left to right. The first circle has three dots, followed by a space. There’s no vertical distribution, no variation in pitch. However, all three circles are the same size, 2 time units in width. I might interpret as –

  [m.m.m . . . . . ]
  [m.m . . . . . . . ]
  [m . . . . . . . . . ]

The circles in the bottom row contain lines not dots. I read he lines as sustained sounds. Where several lines are stacked, one on top of another, I read these as tone clusters, perhaps chords. The length of the lines represents duration, the vertical location pitch, and the spaces between rests or silence. But what about that last circle, far right? I see three lines. They originate from a single point on the upper left boundary of the circle, 1/2 (time) unit in and at the same high pitch. The lines drop down to tree separate points on the lower right boundary of the circle. The first drops to the lowest point in 2 units, the second line finishes in 2 /12 units at a slightly higher pitch, and the third line finishes at the highest pitch in 3 units.

Next I check to see how the circles are connected. I look for start/end points. Not finding any I conclude that I can begin/end anywhere. However, for me, the norm is to start at the top left, end at the bottom right. Circles connect directly to their neighbors. The connections are bidirectional, no arrows. The circle at the top left connects to two other circles: the large circle to the right and the small circle to the right and below. The next large circle in the top row connects to four other circles: the two large circles right and left and the two small circles below. The small circle in the middle of the middle row connect to six other circles: the two small circles to the right and left, the two large circles above, and the two large circles above.

There are any number of ways to play through this score. Here are a few examples –

  T1>T2>T3>T4>m3>m2>m1>B1>B2>B3>B4
  T1>m1>B1>m1>T2>m2>B2>m2>T3>m3>B3>m3>B4>M3>B4
  T1>m1>T2>m2>T3>m3>T4gt;m3>B4>m3>B3>m2>B2>m2>B1
  Player 1: T1>m1>T2>m2>T3>m3>T4
  Player 2: B1>m1>B2>m2>B3>m3>B4

  T1-4  – top row of circles
  m1-3 – mid row
  B1-4  – bottom row

Here are two tracks based on this score –
track 07
track 08

Score #5: All together now, for two players. The half circles on the left border indicate start points, the half circles on the right border the end points. Moving horizontally left to right, the bars indicate free improvisations of varying length separated by rests or silence also of varying length. The players can chose to play straight across or, to make things more interesting, follow the arrows into the woods and wander through the clusters of large and small circles that indicate percussion patterns and tone clusters, small phrases that can be folded, spindled and mutilated at will 8^)))

Here are two tracks, we’re learning the score –
track 09
track 10

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One Response to “Egregoros recorded October 8, 2018”

  1. Gigs October, 2018 | Noh TV Says:

    […] Egregoros: Christos Koulendros – Sidrazzi Walter Wright – floor percussion Working on a new graphic score, warmup with 4 […]

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