Day 16pm

by childofwine



This train just don’t stop! Except for tonight… sorta, kinda, not really… the brilliant and beautiful director of our new, and final, composition group gave us the night of – with homework and tasks and things to think about of course, but a night off nonetheless.

Up before 7 again. Run composition before breakfast. Feeling a little worried about an imminent repeat or at least variation on last weeks showing. Made it through the mornings, learned some really great stuff I can’t for the life of me dredge through my exhausted brain to tell you right now but trust me, it was good!

I feel somewhat rejuvenated after yesterday’s spectacular swan dive/belly flop! Funny how that works, and I think I figured out a thing or two as well – or at the very least saw said thing or two on the horizon… either way, progress.

So, compositions actually went pretty well. All four groups this week seemed to have a little bit more. Of course the feedback session afterwards was long and intense but it was Good.

And immediately, we’re on to the next thing: final compositions.

“Who wants to direct?” 4 spots are available, 4 hands go up. 1 being mine. Sweet. (Brilliant and beautiful)

This week’s assignment: The Rite of Spring

Our pens are poised. Silence. A pen clicks. Paper rustles. Nothing


Ok, this means nothing to you so how bout this

Week one:

  • 4 parts, any order: departure/arrival, sacrifice, history, riot
  • ending implies return to beginning
  • thread or journey of one or shared but must explore walking
  • ecstatic moment of community
  • broken expectation
  • 1 of the 4 elements in excess
  • revelation of space
  • revelation of object
  • revelation of character
  • someone is carried aloft
  • 15 seconds of simultaneous unison
  • surprise entrance
  • someone speaks after bringing themselves to exhaustion
  • section in which everyone listens to Rite of Spring – that is the action
  • section in which action is performance or embodiment of Rite of Spring
  • music used in at least 3 radically different ways (incl 1 from unexpected source)
  • someone is chosen
  • stools used in unusual ways
  • score as visual art
  • authentic ritual is performed
  • Augur’s section of Rite is performed
  • use of Kafka & Thoreau texts provided
  • lengthy piece of dense musically related text
  • pre-Stravinsky music
  • post-Stravinsky music

Week Two

  • listen to Rite in one sitting – immediately following do 2 minutes automatic writing – pool writing together into a monologue
  • make offstage a mystery (commas where you will)
  • individual & group journey through primal forces
  • character called “musicologist” – wears glasses – one or many
  • at some point there is a direct address to the audience
  • embody Augur’s section
  • stage scene reflecting orchestration & structure of Rite intro
  • a piano
  • develop/accumulate action-based leitmotif
  • in any order/time say aloud: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4
  • make silence matter
  • show perspective of the chosen virgin
  • set 3 audience expectations then break them
  • decide upon specific beginning and ending
  • clap a complex pattern together
  • score as visual object
  • sing a Rite melody
  • create plot heavy dance
  • light used in 3 radically different ways
  • plot of ballet told in was that children would like
  • describe music in non musical terms
  • highly articulate but very heated argument about a very technical musical aspect of Rite
  • a moment of heartbreaking beauty
  • use the created monologue
  • Thoreau/Kafka texts
  • Lehrer text

Week Three

  • Rite of Spring


Right? Get it?!

… so we got us 8 in our groups now because we are being joined by dancers who, like us, are participating in a summer intensive – us with SITI and they with the Bill T Jones/Arnie Zane dance company (both of whom are collaborating together on a show inspired by…. guess… no really… no silly: Stravinsky’s Rite of Spring!)

We have very little time with them as they are doing their own compositions as well but I think our three are going to be a lot of fun – they’re excited to play and aren’t afraid of speech and we have some of us who are real keen to dance.

I’m feeling pretty optimistic – judging by our conversations this afternoon and evening I think it’s going to be very hard but I think it’s going to be very hard because we are an ambitious and fiercely artistic group.

I just have to take all that I’ve learned over the past 16 days and put everything into this! No big deal. No pressure. Not like these last compositions then get another day to be worked on before they’re presented to the entire two companies and friends…

I think I’m going to try and avoid talking about this too much – especially since one of my group-mates and name-twins is reading this but I will keep going on these entries as I am starting to like the practice of them.

Deceptively simple advice well phrased from today: Only use music if you know how to turn it off.