Wednesday, 21 March 2007

F - week 3 - compossible in 19 parts

For this weeks forum we all got to perform the work "compossible – with nineteen parts" by David Harris.

It is a chance piece with a reasonably well defined structure, giving pitch and time directions, AND being scored for 19 separate parts. Although as I'm comparing this to other pieces I've been responsible for (and much that I could be called irresponsible for), such as "composition for coins and dice" [1] and "monopoly" [2] , I'm willing to admit this perhaps constricting environment is all in the perspective.

Having recently been reminded of the Fluxus movement through reading a biography on Yoko Ono[3] (which is one of the obvious inspirations that lead to such pieces by myself, and no doubt also this one by David). I was more inspired by the performance aspect that the clock arranging and chair moving [4] created than the music created.

The music produced over the course of the 45 minute piece was fairly unsatisfactory, although I'm sure with a bit more preparedness a more fulfilling piece may have been performed. I did enjoy the initial 5 minute rehearsal more than the actual performance.

Overall I was quite appreciative of the experience, it has been quite a while since i have been involved in such a shindig. The general reactions of many of the students was quite amusing, and I'm sure that the underlying motives of whomever designed the course structures is slowly opening the pores of all our minds to new potentials.

[1] Kelly, Edward . Composition for coins and dice. 1993.


Roll a dice – the number indicates how long to maintain the action as defined by the coin toss.

Toss a coin – heads : do something/ tails : do nothing.

When the time as indicated is finished – repeat instructions.

[2] Kelly, Edward . Monopoly. 1993.


Play the board game Monopoly.

When it's not your go – do something.

When it's your go - stop whatever you were doing and have your go.


[3] Hopkins, Jerry. 1986. Yoko Ono. Macmillan Publishing.

[4]After several other potential props were tried and discarded, and a stack of chairs arranged to a satisfactory height, the clock was eventually balanced on top. This taking numerous minutes, and being accompanied by Stephen Whittington conducting - apparently in the style of John Cage.

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