The Enigmatic Symphonies of Instrumentism #1 by Lewis Gesner

 Symphony of Instrumentism One                        

Chromatic Tapers

The piece begins with this first movement.  Lines are laid down on the
floor with colored tape.  The lines cross at a center apex, so that they form
pie slices of what might be a circle.  At the apex is placed a large black paper
circle; like a bull’s eye.  In the space of each pie slice are placed multiples of
a single material; in one slice, a stack of typing paper. In another segment,
a pile of rubber bands. In another is a box of toothpicks, in another, envelops
and paper clips, in another, plastic bags and little rocks.  I construct this setup
as part of the piece, quickly and efficiently in front of the audience.  When all
is in place, I choose a slice of the circle to sit in, do so, and begin.  Let’s say
the first slice contains elastic bands.  I take each band, and as quickly as I
can, I flick them into the center dot to their accompanying snapping sound. 
When I finish this, I move onto the next segment clockwise, which has envelops
and paper clips.  I place a paper clip in each envelop and seal it, then throw it
into the center until the material in that segment is used up. I get up and move to
the next segment, which contains the box of toothpicks.  I open the box and
taking them out one at a time, snap each between my thumbs, then throw them
into the center dot, again, working as quickly, or, chromatically as I can.  I perform
this way until I complete the circle and all the materials have been used up in a
similar, simple way, each having its own signature repetition of sound event,
performed in a chromatic, or, -no space between events -way.


There is one person in each of the segments of the circle.  Each works as rapidly
as possible, but of course each person’s rate is different.  They will end at different
times.  The first person who ends goes and works with the person in the segment
to the right or next closest.  The next person finishing does the same, and so forth
until all segments have been finished.  While the manpower performing the piece
remains the same then, there is a shaping of the sound output; it begins maximally
broad, with a person in each segment, each working with a different material, but
ends with a uniform sound quality, everyone crowded into one segment, with one material.

While this is a gradated shape, with broadest variation tapering down to uniformity, it
will be erratically shaped  as well, as completion times will naturally vary, and be
complicated by the additions of workings in some segments.

Wall Swings

I produce a handful of small eye-hooks from my pocket and screw them into a wall
from left to right, at widely varied heights, from the beginning of a wall to its end.
I then retrieve a big cardboard box filled with many common objects, from marbles
and rulers to kitchen utensils and office supplies.  I take the box and strew its
contents along the length of the wall, where it meets the floor. I produce a roll
of cotton string and a pair of scissors.  I cut a random length of string, choose an
object from along the wall and tie the string to it.  I then attach the other end of the
string to the first eye-hook, farthest left on the wall.  Holding the object out now
at arms length, taut on its string, I let it swing into the wall, or, if the string is longer
than the height of the eye-hook, onto the floor.  I proceed to select another object
from along the wall, and cut a length of string for it, performing the same swing-to-wall
act.  I do this until all of the hooks I have placed on the wall have been used for a

Object Mute, Negate

I produce several rolls of toilet tissue, and again, my roll of string and scissors. 
Selecting from the objects still strewn along the wall, I select one and drop it onto
the floor at arms length, let it hit bounce and come to rest, observing sound and other
qualities of the material.  Now, I wrap the object once fully in the tissue and secure
with string.  Again, I drop the object, observing the now muted sound quality.  Picking
 the object up, I wrap it again, and drop.  I do this until the unique qualities of the object
have been lost and it has gone from muted to negated.  Now, I proceed on to the next
object, performing the same act.  I continue gradating then negating the sound qualities
of these objects until the objects are used up or I achieve the performance’s maximum
duration.  This is the end of the symphony.