Composition No. 95 was composed in the spring of 1980 and was written especially for Frederic Rzewski and Ursula Oppens. This composition is the first completed work in a series of ritual and ceremonial compositions that will be composed in the next cycle of my activity. To date, this work has been performed in public only once—at the festival of Pisa (in the summer of 1980) and hopefully the coming cycle will see many other performances in the future.
The reality of Composition No. 95 is constructed to utilize the dynamics of both music and theatre and the meta-reality dynamics of this work have been constructed from spiritual intentions—for this period in time (that being, the present vibrational and actual particulars 'in the air' during this period—involving both social reality and vibrational dynamics) as well as for composite progressionalism—that being, the route of present-day unfolding events (and what those events seem to be postulating for the future). The realness of all these factors underlies my decision to begin this series of works. Composition No. 95 is the spirit of positive hope and concern—for all humanity (and 'the experience of living').
By the terms ritual and ceremonial music, I am saying that the meta-reality dynamics of Composition No. 95 was conceived with extra-vibrational intentions—having to do with my belief that the challenge of transformational creativity in this time cycle must involve 'postulation' as related to both world culture and its extended 'all spiritual' dictates, as well as what those dictates signify about participation. In actual terms, Composition No. 95 was conceived and written as a vehicle for 'vibrational preparation.' The thrust of this work was actualized as a ritual statement for signaling vibrational and/or spiritual awareness—for the individual and/or culture. That is, Composition No. 95 is a vehicle for understanding that the vibrational and physical universe particulars of a given focus are changing and as such, the spirit should be made aware and prepared. I have written this work because of my belief about the seriousness of 'change cycles' and what this phenomenon poses for living (and time/space). Composition No. 95 is composed as a statement about this phenomenon and the performing of this work is ritual because the seriousness of its meta-significance (purpose) is about spiritual matters. This work is designed to be performed for any context that involves vibrational and/or physical universe change, as that change concerns spiritual matters—for instance, DOCUMENTATION (i.e. the rise and fall of a given culture), WARNING (of an impending change), CELEBRATION (of a given focus or postulation), ACKNOWLEDGMENT (i.e. of the change of the season, etc.). My original intention when composing this work was that I sensed and felt that the next immediate cycle in social reality promises to be extremely difficult—and there is danger in the air for all people and forces concerned about humanity and positive participation. Composition No. 95 is composed as a vehicle to alert the spirit about serious change.
Composition No. 95 is constructed as a multi-vehicle for two pianists. Each musician, in addition to the piano, plays zither and melodica and also performs in costume. The actual written material of this work is designed to utilize these instruments either (1) separately—that being the use of a given instrument by itself, without the other instruments, or (2)) collectively—that being a combination of two or more instruments. There is also the inclusion of two solo melodica sections for each pianist, as well as piano solo extensions, but this material is not written as separate from the composite music or other pianist, but instead contains sections in which a given pianist will dominate the central focus of the written music. Composition No. 95 is my first attempt towards solidifying a ritual and sacred music. That is, the composition is conceived as a spiritual music and offered as a positive intended 'creative magic discipline.'
The beginning of a given performance of this work involves the procession of the musicians from the right side of the performing space (facing the audience—starting from behind the stage) playing the 'signal' phrase that underlines the composition, while moving towards the pianos (which are in the center of the performing space). The actual composition does not start until both pianists have been seated (the musicians first go to the piano on the right—which should be the closest instrument, that being piano number two) and one musician is then seated, after which the second musician moves to his or her piano while the seated musician switches the repeated phrase from melodica to piano. From the moment of the procession to the start of the first notes, there are no breaks in the performance from beginning to end (and in closing, the procession is repeated in reverse as the musicians leave the stage).
At the first performance in Pisa there was little time to complete all of the particulars of Composition No. 95 and therefore, many of the visual aspects of the work could not be utilized. The actual completed reality of this work was conceived as a totally choreographed experience—that is, throughout the whole of the work every movement of the pianists is choreographed and/or structured. The finished score that will be made available for the public will contain all of the instructions necessary for a complete performance of this work, and the musicians will have the option of this added feature—which can be utilized or not. This is also true of the stage setting for Composition No. 95. For the work can be performed in a normal stage context (as was done in Pisa) or in a special arrangement that involves a specially-built rise and lighting. I have made this aspect of Composition No. 995 optional because of the economic considerations this additive implies, as well as the fact that given performances and performance spaces have different requirements in themselves and there are instances where a completely staged performance might not be possible. To experience the realness of this work, however, is to both ear and see its presentation. For the dynamics of its participation is designed to be ceremonial in the sense of its particulars as well as its purpose. I believe the future of transformational creativity must adhere to some aspect of what this participation implies. For the reality implications of creativity, as viewed from the context of world creativity, is not only about the entertainment value of a given projection (style)—or form—but extends into that form's higher intentions and meta-implication dynamics. The thrust of this work carries forward the research I have been doing during the last five years and some, in particular the tenets underlying the work can be seen in the reality dynamics of Composition No. 95—which was a device for reintegrating the dynamics of multifunctionalism (i.e. the use of color, and the move toward world music functionalism)—as well as Composition No. 82 which utilized the dynamics of spatial coordinates and dynamic choreography. The thrust of this work advances some aspect of both of these compositions and also opens the door for other avenues for the future. I have chosen to pursue this direction because it is the most logical/illogical path for me to take towards world culture—and world music—and this is my objective.
Composition No. 95 is structured in twelve sections and utilizes six principal visual shape models as its language generating source. The idea of this work involves the integration of that material in various combinations—throughout the composite spread of its total structure. The foundation generating principle of Composition No. 95 seeks to emphasize the use of percussive expansion—that being the transmission of given rhythmic cell figures through ascending and descending chromatics. However the principle is not used in a surface general sense (application) that merely duplicates a given moment (to reestablish presence) and the science underlying this effort is also very different from my Kelvin series of generating repetition structures. Composition No. 95 is a dynamic sound space structure that utilizes repetition as part of its infrastructure generating terms—having to do with how given underlying structural materials are integrated and expanded within the fabric of the music. Repetition in this context only serve to enhance the nature of the work's personality as opposed to establishing the central focus of its actual materials (and material decisions). There are three types of repetition utilized in Composition No. 95: (1) short phrase type repetitive figures that are employed in the lining of a given phrase grouping statement, (2) long phrase rubato grouping figures which are constructed as a section in themselves and also as a foundation for the use of more active rhythmic sound occurrences and finally (3) the use of directly repeating a given figure (without altering any part of its construction makeup). Each of these repetition approaches (principles) is translated into a primary shape (and purpose) to be used as a generating basis for all moment decisions in Composition No. 95. The forward spread of events in Composition No. 95 was based on the use of predesignated structural parameters and sequence planning—as a factor that pre-constructed what variables would interact (and from what terms). Each section of the expanding music is designed to accent some aspect of its principal structural matrix components (i.e. its shapes and structural principles)—so that all notated occurrences are placed into a particular vibrational and structural state of being. There are no two sections of the work that contain the same element or sound complex mix. Instead Composition No. 95 was constructed as a series of rooms that give fresh insight into one expanding idea logic. All decisions in this context were conceived with respect to the perceived nature and structural tendencies of the composite sound context (and 'act' of thinking). Composition No. 95 is not a serial structure that seeks to 'match the correct number in a slot'—rather the life of this work is based on the [blank] visual shape patterns that characterize its sequential nature. After the rhythmic materials of the work were determined—in the planning stage of the work—all subsequent composing decisions were approached in moment time (based on what I heard during the act of composing). As such the music in Composition No. 95 is not the end result of a given structural system but rather an affirmation of its composite reality. The thrust of this effort was spontaneously composed over a pre-designed super pattern in accordance with the total structural and vibrational nature of its materials (and science).
The six visual model shapes (matrices) that make up Composition No. 95's principle language character can be understood by examining each individual component from its own terms. The first shape matrix is a three-note moving line (grouping) that is stated and quickly repeated in the space of the music. This is a construction tendency (sound) shape that points the focus of the music and is used throughout the whole of the forming music (figure [blank]). I perceived of this shape as a material fabric and primary (subject or motivic) factor that could help to shape the very character of the music. In the moment to moment act of 'actualizing,' this shape variable is used to provide a generating basis to clarify the forward dynamics of the developing music. The realness of this structural tendency can be experienced in many different forms (and disguises)—throughout the whole of the work (in the lower regions of the sound spectrum, or as a 'light' filler-like statement that contains 'baroque intentions'). Composition No. 95 was composed in moment time over a predesignated structural pattern that indicated the nature of its given conceptual and structural (and visual) tendencies. The second visual model that forms the material fabric of Composition No. 95 is the use of intervallic shifting as a working operative in the normal flow of the music. By the term intervallic shifting I am referring to the use of pattern shape (grouping) figures that keep reemphasizing the shape of its components—as the composite figure ascends or descends in half steps (figure [blank]). The reality of this device is applied inside of the total music—in the same sense as with visual shape model number one. Intervallic shifting in this context is applied on every level of Composition No. 95's phrase structure dynamics—from the use of only half step phrase constructions that emphasize chromatic-like line shapes to the use of the wide interval sound distances that are cast in 'stone' (to make the proper effect in its given space—occurrence—parameter). All of these variables are embedded into the language of the music and shaped with respect to the moment nature implications of its actualization. Visual model number three seeks to emphasize the use of long moving sound lines (and columns) as a basis for construction dynamics and focus. Moving sound lines in this context refers to the use of metrically even moving sound changes (lines) that form into the space of the music as a continuum and material state factor for construction dynamics. This process in Composition No. 95 is made into a state of being that contrasts with the forward thrust of the 'perceived' developing music. This is so because Composition No. 95 is made into a state of being that contrasts with the forward thrust of the 'perceived' developing music. This is so because Composition No. 95 establishes itself as a medium fast pulse pointillistic sound continuum that accents its material occurrences from an unbalanced or angular sensibility that allows for a 'rough' or non-smooth sound state forum. It is in the relationship between linear (smooth) and complex (active) sound occurrences that the music takes its life. The progressional nature of events in Composition No. 95 moves to first emphasize a complex sound state that changes to a smooth linear sound state reality (then a timbre shifting state, etc.). The reality of this effort unfolds as a series of forming and reforming variables that celebrates the 'act' of music. There are two degrees (applications) of this tendency—(1) as a structural fabric agent (that serves as a backdrop to positioned overstructure occurrences or (2) as a single statement fitted into the complex of a given sound space. In both contexts the use of this operative moves to affect the composite nature of the space.
Pointillism in Composition No. 95 is approached with respect to the positioning dynamics of a given phrase grouping based statement—as opposed to a set serialized system that regulates the variables of each actualization (idea). Emphasis with this variable is centered more on the moment position of its actualizing music—as a factor that stresses the dynamics (volume) and cross-interrelationships of all multiple event occurrences. Pointillism in this context seeks to plant a given sound into the complex of the sound space—as a device to create dimensionality. These are among the lessons we have been given through the continuum of post-Webern and Cage structural dynamics—having to do with the use of 'placement' as a factor to enlarge or contract the space dynamics of the music (or the effectiveness of a given multiple occurrence). Composition No. 95 is constructed as a multiple continuum dialogue between two instrumentalists that emphasizes active moment forming tendencies and momentum. The concept of pointillism that is practiced in this sound space moves to expand the nature of forming and re-forming material constructions—so that the body of its perceived music establishes more than one layer of occurrences (statements). This is not a music of short and long sound constructions that blindly attempts to replay or imitate the works of the great European masters—rather Composition No. 95 is a rigorous sound space music that hurls sounds through the music space—to create its own life and characteristics. I have constructed this effort as an extended sound forum that contains a spectrum of operating and forming objectives. The fifth visual model matrix of Composition No. 95 involves the use of blurred phrase patch materials that expresses itself as a continuum of filtered (and complex) sound mass. The reality of this material is constructed as a sound wall consideration that is positioned into the music—as a block of entangled sound occurrences (that establishes its own reality context and impression). There are two primary types of this variable: (1) as an inter-moving sound wall (block) factor that proceeds into the space of the music—that being, as a revolving material (language) state that doesn't change and (2) as a multiple sound state continuum that emphasizes at least two different structural logics (to form a 'knitted' fabric of two operating principles). In the first context operating matrix number five is expressed in a long phrase grouping statement column that is compressed and blurred (through the use of all pedal0 to create its own state of being. Sounds in this context are rushed into the space of the music to create a continuum of moving shapes and feelings—even though once stated the construction nature of the music doesn't change (and in fact becomes a static phenomenon—even though the surface realness of the 'apparent music' is created through the rapid use of many moving sound particles (notes). The use of this construction tendency moves to create a moving sound context that provides a unique context for the forward music (developing music). As a multiple sound state factor the use of blurred phrase patch sound occurrences has to do with the combined use of metric phrase grouping constructions (that emphasizes chromatic and intervallic construction patterns that expand in ascending or descending lines into the space of the music) and pointillistic positioned phrase grouping constructions (that are fitten in between and 'through' the fixed metric phrase operatives). To experience this phenomenon is to enter a double music state that allows for a fresh context to experience sound movement and consciousness. This is a 'double music' in the sense that the material operatives of this context establish two clear operational states of being that detail two defined principles and sound logics (or perception dynamics)—one of which involves a metric moving phrase grouping construction continuum (that intervallically and rhythmically generates a music logic stream-of-consciousness) and the other involves the use of positioned sound material structural complexes that are cast against and through the 'holes' of the space environment. The reality of this phenomenon moves to create a linear and vertical type sound music state that can be experienced from many different perspectives. This is a multiple sound state device that allows for unique inter-density terms to solidify in the music. Nor is the realness of this variable only related to one sound material component mix or language operative—before it is used in the actual music. This is not the case at all. The use of blurred active phrase columns can be viewed in several different material operative directives and focuses—throughout the whole of Composition No. 95. This variable is also used as a trill sound density component that establishes the inter-nature (and shifting dynamics) of its various structural strategies. In this context the use of blurred sound mass formings moves to create a structural state of being that is unique (and relevant) to the forward thrust of the developing music. Trill grouping constructions have to do with long and short mass density columns that take on many different appearances in the space of the music. Diversity for this technique seeks to accent intervallic phrase constructions—from the use of minor second trill decisions to great intervalic sound changes. The instrumentalist is given this variable as a sectional (structural) state of being that provides an interesting point of departure from the developing tendencies of the forward music. The fifth visual matrix of Composition No. 95 involves the use of irregular long line phrase clusters. This operative can be viewed as a variation of visual matrix system number three because the weight of a given structural variable in this context can change state quickly—depending on the forming event nature of the music. Composition No. 95 seeks to emphasize long 'corridors' of moving long sound constructions that form into its own unique conceptual nature. The use of this variable moves to broaden the operating space of the music—so that we can better understand post-Webern creative and vibrational dynamics. In Composition No. 95 'clusters' of moving long line formations are meshed into the space of the music to achieve a kind of multiple event fabric (that vertical harmonic construction directives). The reality of this construction operative calls for complex formings and active multiple (construction) phrase statements that are intertwined into a 'cord' of sound and event formings.
Composition No. 95 is constructed as a continuum of fixed and open moment variables that establishes its own relationship with the space of the music. Events in this context were approached from an open perception and fitted into the matrix nature of a given sequence (notated in the same sense as an improvisation fitted inside of a vertical chord sequence) as well as from structural and material objectives. In the first context actualizations of the music are fitted into the predetermined structural points of the music—in the ongoing moment forming of the 'developing music' (written improvisations), and in the second context the moment dynamics of Composition No. 95 are constructed with respect to the matrix nature of its various time (event) parameters. Both of these operatives can be found in this sound universe because of the breadth of its focus.