Composition No. 59 is an extended structure for two soloists and thirteen instrumentalists that was composed in 1976. The reality of the work is conceived as an active and static forum that contains unique terms for creative participation. This is a multiple sound forum structure that seeks to forward the material and principle implications of post-Stockhausen/AACM structural dynamics. In Composition No. 59 we are given a five-part (component) sound state that invites our attention (involvement)—as it unfolds into the broader realm of 'perceived existence.' The reality of this effort was conceived to establish a fixed all-notated music context, as well as two extended procedural and structural criteria for the creative improvising musician. This is a music state that attempts to integrate pointillistic sound elements into the the composite operational space of post-AACM procedure (and conceptual) dictates. Composition No. 59 is a sound environment structure that establishes a structural and vibrational attitude about music (and thinking). The work is designed as a forum to emphasize two soloists (in two different contexts). Improvisation in this sound world involves the use of an open ensemble section that contains verbal instructions (but no actual notated music). The soloists in this work are given a multiple sound continuum track (state) that acts in the same sense as be-bop chord changes—as a foundation (state of being) for participation. This material, however, is not metrically constructed (notated) in the traditional sense of present-day notation (sound positioning) dictates—but rather contains flexible sequence and time point operatives. Composition No. 59 is an expansive platform of sound constructions (and 'states of being') for the needs and challenge of creative sound exploration. I have constructed this work as a light forum that is clear in shape and to the point. The two featured soloists in this work can be any two single-line wind instruments (I would, however, prefer that the soloists play the same instrument (type) if possible, so that the diversity of one's style [creativity and presence] can be focused on—as opposed to a total change of timbre—or focus). Composition No. 59 is a forum for emphasizing subtle differences—in sound material and language construction. The work is dedicated to [blank]
Composition No. 59 is a dynamic platform of fixed and relative sound constructions that provides a unique context for participation. The composite form of the work is A B C B D and each aspect of that breakdown can be viewed for its own separate role (and function). Section A was constructed as a medium pulse pointillistic sound environment that opens the focus of the music. In this sound region single and multiple phrase grouping elements are dimensionally structured to create thin music soundscapes (and sound appearances). All material in this section is totally notated and positioned—so that the force of the music can be directly received. Section A opens Composition No. 59 as a peaceful sound state whose inner material figures dance (move) in the sound space of the music. This is a constant music presence that 'proceeds' in the traditional sense of post-Webern conceptual implications. Section A contains no central motivic and/or thematic components in its infrastructure design or perceived purpose—rather events in this sound state involve the significance of sound positioning and the effect of continuity. Pointillism in this context seeks to emphasize the use of forward and backward sound exchanges—as this phenomenon establishes the 'reality' of its own presence. Section A was constructed in moment time without any overstructural devices in either its harmonic and/or rhythmic dictates. The actual reality that solidified this work involved moment decisions based upon my understanding (intuitive moment choice) of what was taking place in the music—during the actual moment to moment manifestation of the music [or at least 'what I was hearing in my head'—'thought'(?) or 'the concept of thoughts(?!)']. Section A happens very quickly and is offered as a 'hush' that directs our attention. This is a sound state of dimensional multiple events that proceed from middle density (sound exchanges) in the beginning of the music to various thinner (emphasis) textures that close out the focus of the music. This material is really the principal attitude of Composition No. 59—establishing the composite nature of the total music.
Section B is a principle generating sound space that establishes terms for the focus of the music. It is in this section that the primary operating criterion of the music is solidified (as well as its component nature)—as a real music and music system (language) type that provides unique additives (context) for the music. Section B was conceived as a platform to view the dynamic implications of sound attack points—as a phenomenon that carries extended implications for the continuance of the music. In this section are positioned forty-eight different time parameter sections that impose specific effects on the sound point and character of the music. The reality of this operation gives insight into the extended implications of music science and growth. To understand what this means is to view the component nature of the music. The forty-eight time parameter cue points that make up Section B are actually an extended series of separate sound compartments—each of which has its own logic and design. In the early sections of this component the structural emphasis of the material moves to accent the weight and dynamic implications of the 'pure sound attack' (point) as a dynamic element that profoundly affects the sound space of the music without additives. Sound attacks in this context are used as a sound measuring device for the improvising instrumentalist that extends the concept of chord changes to sound (parameter) changes. Once this factor is established in the early sections of Section B then the extended implications of the process can unfold (as a living and relevant phenomenon that arrived because of the music rather than its idea).
The forty-eight time point cueing regions of Section E progress from a sound and phrase grouping unison statement music type, in its initial state, to an expansive network of fixed and moving and multi-sound connections—that breathes a new music result into each interpretation (by virtue of its construction nature). The dynamics of this transformation gives a unique foundation for extended improvisation (in the same sense as vertical harmonic moment to moment discovery). To experience what this phenomenon really means is to view the extended continuance of Section B's time track. After the use of isolated sound point attacks are established in the music (as a point to begin improvisations and sound thought) the reality of this procedure begins to develop independent line connections that take place in the infrastructure of its time cue (before the next cue is given). Gradually by cue 17 the listener—and instrumentalist—become aware of an under-sound dialogue in the music (that concerns the progressional dissemination of the composite ensemble). One by one the various instruments in this context are reconnected to the established nature of Section B's time cures—the composite phrase network eventually becoming part of two different continuums. Section B was conceived as a context to observe sound transformation—as this phenomenon reacts and relates to the forward thrust of a given improvisation. The reality of this technique is constructed so that the conductor can openly activate the music (sound point) to meet the needs of the moment. With this technique the sound point becomes a structural consideration that advances the 'state' of the sound space. Section B is an active textural web of interconnecting sound attacks (points) and relationships that establishes a unique context for the challenge (and beauty) of extended improvisation and evolution.
Section C is a static long-sound sound space that serves as a focus and timbral shift from the central focus of the music (structure). This section is designed as a loose sound environment that opens up the space of the music by freeing the pulse responsibility of the music. From an abstract sound environment of complex sound relationships that emphasizes sound lines juxtaposed with single extended improvisations (to form an inter-complex of shapes and forms) to a sea of static sound material (beams) that floats in the space of the music, Section C changes the composite focus of the music. This context is more akin to smooth phrase and/or lyrical-like perceived sound passages—that coalesce to form a unified state. Section C was conceived as a point of exchange from the first soloist statement(s) to the second soloist. This is a middle structure that breaks the established pulse (presence) of the music—as a means for structural balance and diversity. Both soloists come together in this section to lightly touch the surface of the music. Improvisation in Section C is a perceived duet that attempts to seat itself into the center of the sound space. This is not a forum for gymnastics or gamesmanship. The soloists in Section B are expected to listen to one another as well as to the composite ensemble. Section B is a perceived sound state that is verbally written in the score—as opposed to a conventional (traditional) notated structure that contains all emphasis. The ensemble in this section is asked to establish one long sound and mesh it into a unified (agreed) state—to in fact create a sound texture—and pressure. Each individual instrumentalist must (can) choose his/her own pitch (and, in principle, attitude). This section can be looked at as the 'bridge' structure of Composition No. 59.
Section D is the final structural section of Composition No. 59. This section was conceived as a response to Section A—or in some cases a restatement of Section A's principal focus. By that I am referring to the use of completely notated material (elements). The most basic difference of this material from Section A involves the (mass) balance of the music's sound space. Section D contains a thinner use of dimensionalism and general sound material than in Section A. Events in this space were conceived as a platform that emphasizes single and uncomplex sound moments—rather than multiple entry phrase groupings (statements) and complexes. The restatement of pointillistic components in Section D can be viewed in the same context as the sonata form (even though in actual terms this is not the correct use of that form).
Composition No. 59 is a dynamic structure that establishes its own relationship with 'the space' of the music. The work is scored for Eb soprano sax, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, four trumpets, two trombones, tuba and cello. The first performance occasion for Composition No. 59 was for a recording session for Arista Records. Since that period the work has been performed in American and Western Europe. On the first recording, Roscoe Mitchell and myself functioned as the two soloists (on Bb and Eb soprano saxophones respectively)—with changes to the contra bass clarinet in Section C). The instrumentalists on that occasion were [blank]