Two Szpakowski Pieces for Two Trombones
Latvian Center for Contemporary Art
Concept, scores: Michal Libera, Barbara Kinga Majewska
Trombones: James Fulkerson, Hilary Jeffery
The drawings of Wacław Szpakowski not only look like music scores. They also served as such for the author himself who used to play them on violin. We know nothing more about the actual performances. Yet could they be anything but prefiguration of minimalism in music? Certainly, we will never be sure. But we know that his drawings from 1920' and the music genre born in the 1950's face a similar question: how to derive all harmony and all rhythm from a single, unaccompanied line?
Concert at LCCA in Riga will be an attempt to face the question via musical performance of two pieces by Szpakowski. Scores prepared for two instrumentalists are a rigid transfer of visual data contained in Szpakowski's line onto staff notation. The only two parameters at work here will be pitch and durations. Derived proportionally and solely only from the lengths of the stretches of line, they will form a single melody for each piece. The same melody-line of each piece will be performed by the two musicians at the same time but in opposite directions, from left to right and from right to left. All emerging harmonies and rhythms will then be an outcome of overlapping of the same line with itself.
One of the pieces, "a00", is symmetrical and hence the duration structure for both performers is the same, only the glissandi will have opposite directions. On the micro level, each glissandi will have a focal point when musicians intersect; on the macro level, the piece as whole will have a center of intersection right in the middle. In the other piece, asymmetrical "A1", no such thing will occur. In both cases only the core segment of the drawing's structure will be performed.