Composition No. 40-O is a phrase generating platform for extended improvisation that was conceived in the early seventies.  The concept and procedure basis of this work is constructed in conjunction with my Kelvin series of phrase generating material platforms.  All of the works from that series seek to emphasize the dynamic implications of repetitive phrase statements—as a forum that contains alternative and dynamic implications for the future.  I have long believed that the use of repetition holds special challenges for creative dynamics—in this time period and the future.  Composition No. 40-O can be viewed as not separate from what this challenge implies for material focuses (and procedure dictates).  In this work the listener can experience another level of 're-focus' and perception dynamics.  Composition No. 40-O is a sound world that consists of one long phrase statement that continually establishes its line focus.  Gradually this principle becomes the total basis that determines the inner nature and procedure dictates of the music.  What this means is that the use of a repeating phrase section can become its own re-generating basis—hence form (and this is exactly what happened).  Composition No. 40-O continues the work that began in Compositions No. [blank] and [blank].  This material is designed so that the creative instrumentalist can have many different approach perspectives for interpretation.  It can be performed in any tempo—and accelerated and/or retarded as desired—and the actual notated pitches that form its written materials are 'openly' executed (in the moment of invention) of the music.  All that is given to the interpreter in Composition No. 40-O is given in one phrase statement that establishes a rhythm contour and focus for participation.  A given performance of this material can be stretched in every imaginable direction.  Composition No. 40-O is an open forum that can be used to establish alternative creative procedure operatives—for the challenge of creative exploration.  The work is dedicated to [blank].  

Composition No. 40-O is a single phrase statement that consists of sixty-nine notes in six different phrase groupings (in a time field of twenty-four and a half beats).  This material is structured as an arhythmic line contour that emphasizes irregular weight shifts in its composite form.  I have designed Composition No. 40-O in this manner so that the focus of the music can have new surprises—for its instrumentalist as well as the listener.  There are many different challenges that can be realized in this work—concerning the needs of both the individual and the ensemble.  Among those challenges can be cited:  (1) the use of one sound material construction (that being the use of one pitch as the basis for a given phrase statement reinterpretation—playing the rhythms of the pitch with only one sound), (2) the use of fixed intervallic material application—having to do with each instrumentalist establishing his/her own material specifics to use throughout all or part of a given phrase statement application (approach)—executing the rhythmic specifics of a given phrase statement with the use of fixed intervallic devices (notes—sounds and/or a given interval distance between pitches).  (3) Another procedure possibility in Composition No. 40-O involves the use of collective exchanges (where a given variable is constructed from the collective efforts of the composite ensemble.  All of these possibilities and more are structurally inherent in the form dynamics of Composition No. 40-O.  This is a universe of fixed moments and moment time points that can be used as an alternative basis for creative exploration.  The creative instrumentalist can use this platform for many different functions—as a device that can aid each person's own vibrational needs (and destiny).  In Composition No. 40-O, the concept of the 'entrances' can be used as a basis for participation (having to do with using the time and rhythmic points of a given part of a phrase statement as a component to activate (establish) entry—or change (reestablish) pitch) or the work can be utilized as a platform that emphasizes changes in volume (emphasis).  The dynamic implications of this forum extend into infinity.

Composition No. 40-O is an extended material universe that can be utilized to establish new territories for creative exploration.  The work was conceived as a phrase generating statement that provides a focus for participation.  What this means is that Composition No. 40-O was conceived to give new insight about the implications of extended functionalism—as this phenomenon concerns the challenge of future structural motifs and involvement.  This is not a platform for either extended solo or open improvisation (in the traditional sense of what these terms are).  Rather the structural nature of Composition No. 40-O can be viewed as a fixed and elastic platform that can be approached as a collective (unified) state that calls for new 'role functions' of its ensemble members as well as an independent device that can be utilized in the open space aspects of its interpretation.  The concept of form that defines Composition No. 40-O is multi-dimensional and active on every level—whether with respect to what it signals and its structural and interstructural sense, or in its vibrational and dynamic sense.  Composition No. 40-O calls for new responses from its interpreters—to meet the challenges of tomorrow.

The six phrase groupings that make up Composition No. 40-O were written in moment time without any overstructural devices—in either its rhythm and/or harmonic specifics.  What this means is that the material in this work was written to fit the needs of its 'moment' (unfoldment)—in the same sense that an improvisation searches for its own identity.  The 'exactment' that motivated this work involves the wonder of irregularly designed lines that repeat in the sound space—that can be played exactly as written or shifted to reemphasize what was perceived in that moment as more 'necessary.'  This is a forum that can be molded, remolded and individually molded (inside of a composite ensemble).  And the hope is that the 'experience' of this phenomenon can be related to something 'positive' (and life giving).  Composition No. 40-O is a single phrase statement that can be performed by any instrumentation for any duration.  The actual material that makes up this work consists of one set of notated rhythmic phrase groupings—constructed on a twenty-four and a half beat time platform (parameter).  This material is to be positioned into the moment and composite form of Composition No. 40-O and utilized as needed (it should also be noted that the functional dictates of Composition No. 40-O establishes both a structural and 'open-ended' sound space for the creative instrumentalist:  what this means is that there is no single operating criterion that defines the parameter of Composition No. 40-O's conceptual nature.  The reality of this work extends the concept of material structure as well as the concept of form.

Composition No. 40-O is another completion in my Kelvin series of phrase generation repetition structures for extended improvisation.  It is my intention to establish a spectrum of structures for this context—to meet the needs of the expanding creative instrumentalist.  The challenge of the next cycle of creative music will call for both new and traditional solutions—about the significance of participation and its relationship with science.  It will be important to stay open to the widest possible informational and vibrational stance—and this is especially true in this time period (with the acceleration of electronics and micro electronics).  Everything must go forward—including our perception about who we are.  Composition No. 40-O was composed as a response to what this means.  

 

Anthony Braxton, Composition Notes C (Frog Peak, 1988: 132-136)