CNV37 | 10.12.2006
TWENTYTWENTYONE LAPTOP QUARTET
01 . Treatise (selected pages)
ALL FILES (Download)
Twentytwentyone Laptop Quartet performs selected pages from 'Treatise' by Cornelius Cardew. Live @ Jauna Muzika Festival 2006, Vilnius, Lithuania.
Laptop Quartet twentytwentyone
Though these numbers do not represent the average age of this quartet‘s members, they actually refer to the certain transitional period from what we know as 20th century, with its modernistic (in the neutral sense of this word) outlook, to what is happening right now, as well as what may
happen tomorrow. Performance of this ensemble could be called concert as exhibition, or a retrospect of graphic musical notation extended with the graphical materials of non-musical origin, that are read as musical script and, through collaborative efforts, transfered into the sphere of live electroacoustic sound.
Concert of twentytwentyone consists of four laptop musicians performing onstage a combination of these graphic notation scores: Having Never Written a Note For Percussion by American composer James Tenney, Draw a Straight Line and Follow It by American composer La Monte Young, A Heap of Language by American conceptual artist Robert Smithson, Treatise by English composer Cornelius Cardew, Morphology of City by architect/sound artist Tomas Grunskis, Expansia by Lithuanian composer Vytautas V. Jurgutis, Renaissance in Music by artist/composer Arturas Bumðteinas and the silent b/w film Symphonie Diagonale (1924) by swedish-german experimental film pioneer Viking Eggeling treated as a moving graphic score (the program is in the ongoing process of update). All the scores are projected on the screen for the audience‘s observation.
Arturas Bumðteinas – composer of electronic and acoustic music also works as visual artist with a leaning towards cinematography and conceptuality. He runs mixthemixthemix label as well as practically and theoretically supports the concept of a musical opus as a platform for parallel events. More info at www.bumstein.com/art
Antanas Dombrovsky – collector of ecclectic and contemporary urban folklore, most often working in collaborative spheres and projects. Lately he has been making noticeable appearances as a participant at visual art events.
Lina Lapelytë – violinist, student of Keiko Wataya, she has performed solo with orchestras as well as with the alternative rock group Sugyvulintoslatakams. She is currently a student at the London University of Arts, improvises with the violin and records sinusoidal sound tracks with the use of computer.
Vilius Lys – is one of the representatives of the phenomenal dynasty of architects-sound-artists (including Kauðpëdas, Èiûta, Naruðis, Grunskis). Several albums of his music are available on the internet and prove that electronic ambient/glitch music has in no way reached a dead end.
Selected pages from 'Treatise' by Cornelius Cardew
Subjectivity is a synonym for Treatise. This piece, written from 1963 to 1967, is one of the most famous and most often performed graphical notation scores, consisting of 193 otherwise unrelated pages that are united by a single dominant symbol at the bottom of each page – a double staff (an allusion to the reduced piano score?). Although the author has later indicated that the score‘s horizontal space does not literally correspond to time, but because of this mentioned piano staff the score will be read in the traditional manner - from left to right. Treatise is a collection of graphical notation symbols without any further explanations or comments how they should be interpreted when they are transferred from paper into the sphere of sound. How should one interpret a line, a dot, or a circle?... You can only create your own answers to these questions by setting your own rules or, in other words, a model for collective action, which can remind us of a futuristic vehicle (p.50), or a spaceship (p.134), carrying its crew through “the mess of potential sounds that permeate this planet and its atmosphere”.
[ liner notes by Arturas Bumsteinas ]
Conceptual work often sounds better, after reading about the concept behind it. Or seems to sound better. But in this case, I listened first to the music not reading the liner notes, and enjoyed it without beeing intellectually bothered.
And after reading thru the liner-notes, I must admit I was even more impressed, as I could imagine how intriguing the live-performance must have been, showing the graphical scores, which were converted to sound in realtime.
The graphical scores were selected pages from 'Treatise' by Cornelius Cardew, which is written from 1963 to 1967, and is one of the most famous and most often performed graphical notation scores, consisting of 193 otherwise unrelated pages.
"Performance of this ensemble could be called concert as exhibition, or a retrospect of graphic musical notation ..., through collaborative efforts, transfered into the sphere of live electroacoustic sound." (liner notes by Arturas Bumsteinas)
The performance has been extended with graphical materials of non-musical origin, that are read as musical script, but that is not part of this release, what is a pity, as I would be curious about it.
The ensemble consists of four members:
Arturas Bumsteinas – lives and works in Vilnius and Warsaw. Is composer of electronic and acoustic music, also works as visual artist. More info at www.bumstein.com/art
Antanas Dombrovsky – collector of ecclectic and contemporary urban folklore, most often working in collaborative spheres and projects.
Lina Lapelytë – violinist, student of Keiko Wataya. She is currently a student at the London University of Arts, improvises with the violin and records sinusoidal sound tracks with the use of computer.
Vilius Lys – is one of the representatives of the phenomenal dynasty of architects-sound-artists. Several albums of his music are available on the internet.
So, how does it sound like?
It´s not a drone thing, nor a random noise-orgasm. It´s more a well structured contemporary laptopmusic. Not improvised and with an interesting composition concept. I listened to it several times during writing the review and never became bored or overloaded. I like the mixture of the used sounds and it seems that I could see/imagine the graphical score after some time.
It would be interesting to know, who was responsible for which part of the score, or how the four members of the ensemble communicated during the performance.
It is remarkable how much this score helps to create an absorbing strucure with these often simple but always suitable samples.
I have to admit that this release is outstanding among the often good sounding but "getting lost in entropy, leading to nowhere" laptop-pieces.
Maybe the Twentytwentyone Laptop Quartet motivates other composers to use/create graphical scores in future. In my case they have managed to increase my interest (which is present since some weeks now) a lot, to use graphical scores in future compositions. What do you want more?
[ Sascha Renner ]
The person connecting these three MP3 releases is Arturas Bumsteinas, who is part of Twentytwentyone, a quartet of laptop musicians performing graphic scores as well as running the mixthemixthemix label, who releases the work by Antanas Jasenka. As said the quartet performs graphic scores, and limit themselves to a few, like works by La Monte Young, James Tenny and here by Cornelius Cardew and one by Robert Smithson. The nice thing of course of graphic scores is that they are very open ended. In Cardew's score, some 193 or pages of lines, symbols and circles, one can select one or more pages and 'do whatever comes to mind'. In Smithson's piece, words play a big role. In the latter's case, Twentytwentyone play around with recordings of those words, and give them a big time treatment, so that none of the words can be easily recognized. In their Cardew interpretation they use various sources, including sine waves, crackles and what seems to be classical instruments. Personally I liked this better than the Smithson piece, showing a greater variety in approaches.
[ Frans de Waard ]
CON-V EDITION | 2015