WINDSOR JAMBS (1980)
Unter der Nr. 11120 in die Edition Peters aufgenommen. EIGENTUM DES VERLEGERS ALLE RECHTE VORBEHALTEN ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
HENRY LITOLFF’S VERLAG / C. F. PETERS FRANKFURT/M. LEIPZIG LONDON NEW YORK
cel. v ln .
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Cond. D U RATION : Approximately
The conductor needs an arrow indicator
with numbers 1-4 (provided with the score).
See performance notes.
Mezzo-Soprano Piano / Celeste Percussion (one player) Vibraphone Marimba Large Tom-tom Violin Viola Violoncello
WINDSOR JAMBS (1980) was commissioned by the Fromm
Except on pages 5, 7, 9, and 10, there are 2 ensemble-
Music Foundation at Harvard and first performed by Speculum
systems per page. When the score is open and two of
be fragmented and juxtaposed on one
Musicae in a Composers’ Showcase concert at the Whitney
the pages can be observed by the conductor (and by the
another. Event 6: chords; ensemble alone
Museum in January 1981. The work is dedicated to Paul Fromm.
musicians as well), the systems are indicated as:
(durations, rhythm, and dynamics free) or
Basically duets, in any order. They may
with events 3 and/or 5 superimposed.
The title, WINDSOR JAMBS , comes from a road sign I saw
2 Page 9
somewhere in Connecticut or Western Massachusetts a few years ago. I liked the sound of it as a title and it has come
Solos: in any sequence; vary tempi. They may be fragmented and/or superimposed.
to express somewhat the polyphonic juxtapositions and Page 10
interweaving of melodic materials that occur in the work.
and/or superimposed with page 9 solos.
On potentially open-form pages, such as pages 1 and 2 The mezzo-soprano voice is used as an instrument within
of the score, (on which can be seen systems I, II, III, and
the orchestra rather than as a soloist in the usual way. The
IV), an arrow indicator is used to signal to the performers
voice color is associated with alto flute and bass clarinet
which of the four systems is to be conducted from. The
and the text is simply “vocalise” or phonetic.
specific “event” (1 to 5) is indicated by the left hand of the conductor; this signal is a preparation, followed by
Piano and marimba figures to be alternated
Systems III and IV are open form.
Pages 15 and 16
Systems I, II, III, IV can be open form; OR, page 15 can be done by itself
The large aspects of the continuity and form are fixed but
a right hand down-beat to signal the execution of the
(as instructed on the page) as a lead-in
there are areas of composed figures, chords, and textures
event. On non open-form pages such as pages 3 and
to page 16, systems III and IV, as an
that are spontaneously sequenced and formed in the
4, the sequence of systems is I, II, III, IV, as usual.
process of performing. These areas occurring at various points in the structure of the work are composed “sound
NOTE: In the first five performances, systems I and II on
environments” of instrumental materials which can be
page 1 were mixed freely (open-form) but with event 6
The conducting technique is basically one of cueing; the
explored and expressed differently in each performance.
on system I used only once as a transition to event 1 on
notation precludes the necessity and function of “beat” in
system III (page 2). Page 2 was done in event sequence,
the usual sense (although the conductor does indicate
The essential “poetics” of the work, for me, were in creating
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and into voice and viola duet, and on to page
the relative tempo). The page which contains the event to
the warm rich sounds of voice, flute, and clarinet in relation
3. This treatment is obviously not obligatory, however.
be played is indicated by the arrow, as previously explained. The number of the event to be performed is indicated
to the more “classic” string trio sound and the percussive nature of the piano, vibraphone and marimba. The composi-
tion is really “about” these instrumental characteristics and
Basically piano solo — percussion
by the left hand of the conductor—one to five fingers.
A conventional (right-hand) down-beat initiates the activity. The relative speed and dynamic intensity with which
their potentials of being highly individualistic (soloistic) as well as becoming again an equal but essential element within the orchestral sound texture.
Accompanying material to page 5 (sporadically)
an event is to be performed is implied by the speed and
at conductor’s discretion.
largeness of the down-beat as given with the right hand.
Nearly all of the events in the score have been assigned
towards the orchestra and held stationary indicates that all
signaled by the conductor’s left hand must remain
dynamic values. These are acoustically accurate in terms
musicians in that group should hold the sound or silence
unaffected by his subsequent right-hand indications.
of instrumental and ensemble sonority and balance and
which they are at that moment performing, until the next
must be respected as written, although the conductor
sign from the conductor tells them either to cut off or to
As soon as the conductor initiates (by left-hand event-signal
may “over-ride” the indicated dynamic values and raise or
continue from the point of interruption. A cut-off is signaled
and right-hand down-beat) a new event that appears on the
lower the over-all loudness.
with both hands and must be followed by another event-
player’s part, the preceding event is automatically cancelled.
signal from the left hand and a down-beat. To continue, the
No specific stop-signal is required. The player simply
The “graphic” notations as in events on pages 1 and 16
conductor moves both hands from the “hold” position back
discontinues the event he is playing and, without break
are a generalized way of indicating instrumental activity
to the body and then outward towards the orchestra, palms
between events, begins to play the new one.
and non-characteristic sounds. Observe very carefully the
up (as if giving the initiative back to the orchestra). With these procedures clearly understood by the conductor
character and rhythm of the graphics, the verbal indica-
and the musicians it is possible to achieve smooth tran-
tion of technique of articulations, and the approximate
CON D UCTE D STOP :
frequencies covered by the rise and fall of the graphic
bination of events at any time during the performance. The
sitions and long lines of connected material of extreme
line. All sounds are basically delicate and microtonal.
normal, two-hand cut-off signal will silence his entire group.
complexity and frequent modification. The first impression
Leaving the hands up will hold that silence until the signal to
derived from the score will be one of many sporadic
The conception of the work is that the score presents
continue from the point of interruption is given. If the hands do
fragments. This wealth of fragments shows the numerous
specific material having different characteristics, and that
not remain up in “hold” position, the musicians are to expect
formal possibilities inherent in the work, and it is this
this material is subject to many inherent modifications,
another event-signal from the left hand, and a down-beat.
realization, not the fragmentations, that must become the
the conductor may stop any event or com-
dominant characteristic of performance.
such as modifications of combinations (event plus event), sequences, dynamics, and tempos, spontaneously created
MOD I FICATION OF S I NG LE EVE NT :
during the performance. All events are always prepared by
affects the entire group. The conductor may wish, however,
a left-hand signal and initiated by a down-beat from the
to modify only one event among two or more events being
conductor; the size and rapidity of the down-beat implies
performed simultaneously. To do this he signals the number
the loudness and speed with which the event is to be
of the event to be modified with his left hand; then indicates
performed. The conductor must, as with any notation, insist
the modification — a hold or cut-off — with only his right
on accurately articulated relationships from the rhythmic
hand. (Events not indicated by the fingers of the conductor’s
“shape” of phrase and pitch sequences in this work.
left hand continue to proceed normally.) It is absolutely
any two-hand cut-off signal
essential that the orchestra members clearly understand GENERAL MODIFICATIONS OF EVENTS CON D UCTE D FE R MATA :
the conductor may introduce a
this difference in signaling: a hold or cut-off by both hands affects an entire group; a hold or cut-off by only the
fermata at any time during the performance, in any single
right hand affects only the event indicated by the fingers
event or combination of events. Both hands cupped
of the left hand. Players whose parts do not contain events
windsor jamBs (1980)
Litolf/Peters nr. 11120
Earle Brown (1926–2002)
© 2009 by Henry Litolf ’s Verlag
[* A stiff
Karate chop a downbeat (hand and fingers vertical, edge of hand toward the orchestra section). Can be used for a single, instantaneous attack.]