Positions cover

Martijn TellingaPositions

Crónica 097 CD

Release: 1 September 2015

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  1. Three Modulators, for trombones
  2. Truth, exercise for a listener
  3. Branching into Others, for a large instrumental field
  4. Three Modulators, for basses
  5. Positions, for those involved
  6. Sur Face, Carriage Works parking lot (extra track in the digital download)

You could light a space with fire. It would burn for as long as there was flammable material and oxygen. It would leave ash for you to clean up (sweeping the floor with a large broom). It would provide heat. It would smell bad – and perhaps set off fire alarms. But for a while the space would be altered in way that let you know something about its capacities and fragilities.

On the evidence of this recording, Martijn Tellinga’s music does something like this with a sounding space. The architecture and the people and objects who inhabit it are made to resonate. The aural landscape that is revealed is unbalanced, creating a sense of vertigo as the ears re-orient. It is filled with potential.

Low and/or loud sound sources meant to send reports to the walls and surfaces, waiting sometimes to hear the report, but forging ahead anyway, as if digging an aural tunnel. The dogs like this.

Sometimes (as in Three Modulators for trombones) the movement is slow, as if attempting to rebalance or reground the structure from the bottom up, like a small earthquake. At other times (as in Three Modulators, for basses) the movement is impatient, a whirlpool of Styrofoam peanuts changing density, coagulating and dissipating, bouncing off walls, creating fleeting winds.

Sound is utterly dependent on position. We occupy one at a time, but are aware of others. We’re drawn for mysterious reasons to other places, we pace and move to the walls and windows. We whistle, we rattle and sing and stamp. The dogs like this too.

Michael Pisaro, July, 2015

Three Modulators, for trombones Three trombone players meet and modulate in both a compositional space — freely moving within mutual boundaries for tone, loudness, duration — and a physical space — individually alternating between two positions, far and near. Interpreted by Nathan Lane, Milton Rodriguez and Facundo Vacarezza. Composed 2011, recorded at conDIT/cheLA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2013.

Truth, exercise for a listener Two or more instrumentalists perform an instrumental reading of a site. Freely choosing their actions — listening, sound or movement based — from a catalogue of options, they explore the acoustics and structure of the venue. Recordings are to be made using a handheld device only, with the engineer being equally inquisitive. Performances are not to be announced to an audience. Excerpt of a 33-minute exercise by trombonist Rishin Singh and double bassist Sam Pettigrew, recorded by Jon Watts on a Zoom recorder. Composed 2012, recorded at the Now now series, Sydney, Australia 2012.

Branching into Others, for a large instrumental field Out of a single pitch, an acoustic field of slowly building tones emerges, carefully growing in duration, density and dynamics. Performers are widely dispersed, corresponding to architectural and acoustical features on site. Interpreted by the Modelo62 ensemble. Composed 2011, recorded at the Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ, Amsterdam, Netherlands 2011.

Three Modulators, for basses Interpretation for three double basses, realised by Mike Majkowski, Rory Brown and Sam Pettigrew. Composed 2011, recorded at the Now now series, Sydney, Australia 2011.

Positions, for those involved A performance piece for audience without participating musicians. Entering a space, audience members receive instructions to establish a simple system of listening and response. With only a few voice sounds and a change of position as raw material, both timbre and form emerge spontaneously. Montage in 4 acts of a 30-minute recording. Composed 2012, recorded at conDIT/cheLA, Buenos Aires, Argentina 2013.

Sur Face, Carriage Works parking lot (extra track in the digital download) Following a score based on simplified principles of acoustic measurement, an open number of performers slowly move between opposing surfaces. Methodically traversing the range of their instructions and playing sound events repetitively the changing response by the site is made audible. By Sam Pettigrew on double bass, Jeremy Tatar on flute and John Wilton on gong. Composed 2012, recorded at a parking lot, Sydney, Australia 2012.


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