Monday, 19 May 2008

S16: Mauricio Kagel - Acustica (Side 4)

Deriving chaos from order.

A few weeks' absence has occurred due to circumstances I couldn't possibly control. These little problems seem to have been fixed - except for the having gotten a job element which is, thankfully, still an obstruction in the path of my blogging - and I'm ready again to get on with the task of blogging. The song that has been selected for my comeback is not exactly a fröhlich fanfare, but it is an interesting construction by one Mauricio Kagel, the Argentine composer and film maker.

Acustica is a four-sided LP release performed by the Kölner Ensemble, each side intended as a single session. The whole series can be listened to in one sitting, as combined they fall within one album's length, but the author does not expect the listener to give it such extended attention. Consequently, you may listen to this piece alone and have heard Acustica, or you can download the entire recording and hear some other permutations of the piece.

The composition itself is decidedly marked. There are few accidents in the actual performing of the piece. Each of the sounds is described on a filing card. Where the variation stems from is the order of the cards, plus the performers' own decisions as to when best to come in with each instruction, with regard to timing and contextual propriety. The link to the full recording above also points the the author's own description of the work.

Included below is a video, so you can get a visual impression of the sort of thing one might expect from such a performance:

Download: Mauricio Kagel - Acustica (Side 4) (from Ubu Web)

Mauricio Kagel on Wikipedia
Mauricio Kagel's films on Ubu Web


Greer said...

Welcome back!

I watched part of the video, it's really interesting to see how they go about it, if not quite my thing for listening.

Eiron Page said...

Even the way the performers carry themselves and their facial expressions are detailed on the cards. It really must be quite exhausting. I wouldn't lump this in with my easy listening by any means, but I find it interesting to hear just how different such a controlled piece can come out. It has a both a looseness and constraint to it, both of which I can appreciate heartily.