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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Your Lucky Number

Blog? Oh yeah! I used to have one of those. [Sigh] Sorry, everybody, it's been a crazy couple of weeks. Wait, maybe I mean "lazy." Or maybe I mean both. Anyway, whilst I get my shit together, here's a NEW blog that is awesome and you should all go check it out: 13 Near Death Experiences. It's Corey Dargel's journal, of sorts, on the process of composing his new illness- and hypochondria-themed song-cycle. Lately, Dargel (who—side note—also happens to be in this show tonight! Alright continue reading) has increasingly been trying out something a little bit different, namely writing music for actual humans to perform (in this case the fabulous I.C.E.). Now, one of the cool things about writing electronic music is how secret the actual construction of it is. If you're playing all the instruments yourself, you don't have to tell anybody what meter you're playing in, or what scale you've tuned your instruments to, or even what your instruments are. Once you've written the score, you can tear it up and eat it and no one but you will know what you were thinking. The listener just gets to sit back and enjoy, or if he or she is one of those people who absolutely has to analyze everything they hear they can lean their ear against the speaker and keep rewinding. But writing for live performers changes everything. Not only are there suddenly these questions of having to write things that people can actually play, but the music no longer exists as this one perfect performance of it; it also exists as a set of notes on a page, open to interpretation. There are performers whose job it is to interpret your writing, to coordinate with each other, and to communicate your ideas (such as they understand them) to the audience. The intimacy between composer and listener suddenly becomes a wide-open, swingin' menage (pictured). And perhaps it is in this new spirit of free-wheeling openness that Corey has put up his 13 Near Death Experiences dot com, complete with pdf scores and awkward MIDI-driven demos so that we can all gather around and gawk at the latest draft of each song. What's more, you! the reader! can actually click on the the little comment linkie under each post and leave suggestions as to how that draft might be improved. It's sort of like being a student in a writing workshop, except enrollment is infinite, and the guy in the corner who won't shut up is THE ENTIRE WORLD. Is this, as I believe, a total PR win, or is Dargel also in danger of contaminating the Work by admitting us all, Rapunzel-like, into his ivory tower? Mark your calendars for May 22-23, when Thirteen Near Death Experiences bows at PS 122, and we'll find out.

2 comments:

Corey Dargel said...

Thanks, Daniel.

So far I've been getting great comments and feedback on the blog. And in a way, I guess I kind of *want* the work to be "contaminated" by its exposure.

Corey Dargel said...

Hmm... maybe "contaminated" isn't the best word to use for songs about hypochondria...