The Enigmatic Symphonies of Instrumentism #16 by Lewis Gesner

SI Sixteen                       


Dragging Sequence for Luciano Berio        

For some time now, I have been performing “Dragging” pieces.  These are performing
pieces in which I tether pieces of metal, sticks, or rods to my ankles, and drag them
across various surfaces, like cobblestone, dirt, tar, cement, etc.  Some variants have
included dragging several materials, each on a different length of tether, so that they begin
being dragged at different times along the walk. In this piece, I carry a large number
of 12”x 12” panels of different materials with me.  I will drag one at a time for a set
distance, 100 feet or more, then quickly detach it and replace the square with one
of another material.  This sequence continues until all the materials have been dragged,
and then begins again.  The materials of course activate the surface over which they
are dragged to sound, and the walking aspect, in this piece, spontaneously chosen as
I walk around various roads pathways determines a large part of the nature of the resulting
sounds.
   
a partial list of 12” x 12”  squares of materials to be dragged:

plywood square
pink marble
floor tile
water soaked foam rubber
styrofoam
plaster
metal sheeting
tin foil
plastic
    
Flipping Sequence

Use the same sequence concept as in the dragging movement, but not the stricture
of the order/ loop.  This may be more intuitive.  Instead of dragging objects, the chosen
flat objects/ materials will be “flipped” from face to face to advance them forward through
the environment.  The objects may be clipped to a belt, and flipped one at a time over
various surfaces and locations.  Variation is important; if a path leads twice or more
through the same local, a different material may be flipped, or the previous sequence,
already established by spontaneous choice earlier, may be adhered to. While this
movement is freer than the first, a philosophy or conception of action, even if that
means to have none, must be decided on and retained.
 
Thrown Object/ Material Sequence

Here again, the sequence form is retained.  Objects are kept on the side in a bag. 
They are extracted one at a time and thrown forward, followed, retrieved and returned
to the bag, another object withdrawn and thrown.  The sequences should have
approximately the same durations and physical pacing.