Page 1


EARLE BROWN

EVENT: SYNERGY II for ensemble and two conductors (1967/68)

Score (transposed)

Unter der Nr. 11131 in die Edition Peters aufgenommen. EIGENTUM DES VERLEGERS · ALLE RECHTE VORBEHALTEN ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

HENRY LITOLFF’S VERLAG / C. F. PETERS Ein Unternehmen der EDITION PETERS GROUP FRANKFURT/M. · LEIPZIG · LONDON · NEW YORK


Earle Brown

EVENT: SYNERGY II (1967/68) For ensemble and two conductors Commissioned by Festival de Royan First performance conducted by Gilbert Amy and the composer.

Score (transposed) Instrumentation 19 instruments (2 conductors)

3. “A” winds plus “B” winds: 11 instruments

2 Flutes

2 Flutes

2 Oboes

2 Oboes

1 English Horn

1 English Horn

1 E b Clarinet

1 E b Clarinet

1 Bass Clarinet

1 Bass Clarinet

2 B b Clarinets 2 Bassoons

2 B b Clarinets 2 Bassoons

4 Violins 2 Violas 2 Violoncelli

4. “A” strings plus “B” strings: 8 instruments 4 Violins 2 Violas

There are four other possible performance formats

2 Violoncelli

for one or two conductors: 1. “A” Group alone: 10 instruments

Duration: variable

1 Flute 1 Oboe

Each conductor needs an arrow indicator with numbers 1-4

1 English Horn

(provided with score) to show the musicians which page to

1 B b Clarinet

perform from.

1 Bass Clarinet 1 Bassoon 2 Violins 1 Viola 1 Violoncello 2. “B” group alone: 9 instruments 1 Flute 1 Oboe 1 E b Carinet

1 B b Clarinet 1 Bassoon 2 Violins 1 Viola 1 Violoncello


Program Note Spontaneous decisions in the performance of a work and

approximately 50% of the score, but not to the exclusion of

the possibility of the composed elements being “mobile”

accuracy and responsibility to the precise scoring of many

have been of primary interest to me for some time, the

areas or the “graphic” scoring of trajectories and textures

former to an extreme degree in FOLIO (1952), and the latter,

in other areas. It is a balance between the open-content,

most explicitly, in TWENTY FIVE PAGES (1953). The mobility

open-form SYNERGY of 1952 and the composed-content,

of the elements was inspired by the mobiles of Alexander

open-form works such as AVAILABLE FORMS I and II.

Calder, in which, similar to this work, there are basic units subject to innumerable different relationships or forms.

I have felt that the conditions of spontaneity and mobility

The concept of the work being conducted and formed

of elements with which I have been working create a more

spontaneously in performance was originally inspired by the

urgent and intense “communication” throughout the entire

“action-painting” techniques and works of Jackson Pollock

process, from composing to the final realization of a work.

in the late 1940s, in which the immediacy and directness

I prefer that each final form, which each performance

of “contact” with the material is of great importance and

necessarily produces, be a collaborative adventure, and that

produces such an intensity in the working and in the result.

the work and its conditions of human involvement remain a

The performance conditions of these works are similar to a

living potential of engagement.

painter working spontaneously with a given palette. These comparisons are extremely dangerous and I emphasize that it is to the nature of the working process and the “mobility” of the formal possibilities that I refer, not to the quality or effect of the results. One of the works in FOLIO is an “open-form,” “graphic” score called NOVEMBER 1952, subtitled SYNERGY . This score and DECEMBER 1952 are the two most extreme examples of performer determination from minimal scored information and represent an extreme point of “improvisation” which no longer interests me greatly. Since FOLIO (1952-53) my scores have been almost completely

determined by myself as to sound-material content, despite the frequent case of the form being left “open.” SYNERGY , as I have worked with the concept, means the result of a collaborative process-relationship in the performance itself . . . inherent in the score but not in detail foreseeable before the act of performing and perceiving. In SYNERGY II I have increased the degree of control which the conductor may have over the individuals and groups within the orchestra and over-all form. Also, because of the opportunity of writing for the fine musicians of the Domaine Musical, I have increased the degree of self-determination of sound details by the musicians themselves in


General Directions for Performance Score and Structure

It is a “time-notation” (now generally called “proportional

Either conductor may begin a performance with any event

notation”) in that the performer’s relationship to the score,

on any page and may proceed from any page to any other

and the actual sound in performance, is realized in terms of

page at any time, with or without repetitions or omissions

the performer’s time-sense perception of the relationships

of pages or events, remaining on any page or event as long

defined by the score and not in terms of a rational metric

as he wishes. Both conductors conduct simultaneously but

system of additive units. The durations are extended

independently. This independence is of course conditioned

visibly through their complete space-time of sounding and

by the coexistence of the other group and, ultimately, is a

are precise relative to the space-time of the score. It is

collaborative and dependent process. It must be understood

expected that the performers will observe as closely as

that this is one composition for essentially one group, a

possible the “apparent” relationships of sound and silence

performance of which is the product of sympathetic musical

but act without hesitation on the basis of their perceptions.

collaboration between the two conductors in relation to the composed material and its formal potential.

It must be understood that the performance is not expected to be a precise translation of the spatial relationships but

The numbers of the score pages to be played from are

a relative and more spontaneous realization through the

indicated independently to the two groups by arrow

involvement of the performers’ subtly changing perceptions

indicators displaying numbers 1 to 4 – the numbers and

of the spatial relationships. The resulting flexibility and

arrows being clearly visible to all members of the groups,

natural deviations from the precise indications in the

and comfortably within reach of the conductors. Each arrow

score are acceptable and in fact integral to the nature

indicator is intended to fit on an auxiliary music stand

of the work. The result is the accurate expression of the

immediately in front of the podium, so that the part of the

actions of people when accuracy is not demanded but

indicator bearing the large numbers faces the orchestra.

“conditioned” as a function within a human process.

It is suggested that each podium be wide enough (or that

Conducting

enough music stands be used as a podium) for all four

The conducting technique is basically one of cueing; the

score pages to fit next to one another so as to be visible to

notation precludes the necessity and function of “beat”

each conductor at all times during the performance. (In the

in the usual sense (although the conductor does indicate

parts, all of the events on all of the pages are visible to the

a tempo). The page which contains the event to be

musicians without the necessity of page turns.)

played is indicated by the arrow indicator, as previously explained. The number of the event to be performed is

Time Notation

indicated by the left hand of the conductor – one to five

There is a built-in factor of flexibility in the notation and

fingers. A conventional (right-hand) down-beat initiates

scoring of this piece because the availability of forms is

the activity. The relative speed and dynamic intensity

based on letting go of the idea of metric accuracy. This is

with which an event is to be performed is implied by the

achieved through the notational system used in this work.

speed and largeness of the down-beat as given with the

This system, which I have called a “time-notation,” is a

right hand. Nearly all of the events in the score have

development of the work in FOLIO (1952 and 1953) and most

been assigned dynamic values. These are acoustically

clearly represents sound-relationships in the score as I wish

accurate in terms of instrumental and ensemble sonority

them to exist in performance independent of a strict pulse

and balance and must be respected as written, although

or metric system.

the conductor may “over-ride” the indicated dynamic values and raise or lower the over-all loudness.


The conception of the work is that the score presents

signals the number of the event to be modified with his left

specific material having different characteristics, and that

hand; then indicates the modification – a hold or cut-off –

this material is subject to many inherent modifications,

with only his right hand. (Events not indicated by the fingers

such as modifications of combinations (event plus event),

of the conductor’s left hand continue to proceed normally.)

sequences, dynamics, and tempos, spontaneously created

It is absolutely essential that the orchestra members clearly

during the performance. All events are always prepared

understand this difference in signaling: a hold or cut-off

by a left-hand signal and initiated by a down-beat from the

by both hands affects the entire group; a hold or cut-off by

conductor; the size and rapidity of the down-beat implies

only the right hand affects only the event indicated by the

the loudness and speed with which the event is to be

fingers of the left hand. Players whose parts do not contain

performed. The conductors must, as with any notation, insist

events signaled by their conductor’s left hand must remain

on accurately articulated relationships from the rhythmic

unaffected by his subsequent right-hand indications.

“shape” of phrase and pitch sequences in this work. As soon as a conductor initiates (by left-hand event-signal General Modifications of Events

and right-hand down-beat) a new event that appears on the

con d ucte d fe r mata :

player’s part, the preceding event is automatically cancelled.

The conductor may introduce a

fermata at any time during the performance, in any single

No specific stop-signal is required. The player simply

event or combination of events. Both hands cupped

discontinues the event he is playing and, without break

towards the orchestra and held stationary indicates that all

between events, begins to play the new one.

musicians in that group should hold the sound or silence which they are at that moment performing, until the next

With these procedures clearly understood by the conductors

sign from the conductor tells them either to cut off or to

and the musicians it is possible to achieve smooth

continue from the point of interruption. A cut-off is signaled

transitions and long lines of connected material of extreme

with both hands and must be followed by another event-

complexity and frequent modification. The first impression

signal from the left hand and a down-beat. To continue, the

derived from the score will be one of many sporadic

conductor moves both hands from the “hold” position back

fragments. This wealth of fragments shows the numerous

to the body and then outward towards the orchestra, palms

formal possibilities inherent in the work, and it is this

up (as giving the initiative back to the orchestra).

realization, not the fragmentations, that must become the dominant characteristic of the performance.

con d ucte d stop :

The conductor may stop any event or

combination of events at any time during the performance.

Dynamics

The normal, two-hand cut-off signal will silence his entire

All indications of dynamics are relative to the instrumental

group. Leaving the hands up with fists clenched will hold

technique and register of the particular sound called for, i.e.,

that silence until the signal to continue from the point of

a string sound to be played col legno tratto, sul ponticello,

interruption is given. If the hands do not remain up in the

with a dynamic of ffff, must be played as loudly as possible

“hold” position, the musicians are to expect another event-

regardless of the dynamic intensity produced by the same

signal from the left hand and a down-beat.

dynamic marking in an instrument of a different nature. Thus, a low C in the flute marked as ffff is not expected to

mod i fication of s i ng le eve nt :

Any two-hand cut-off signal

have the same volume as a middle-register tone marked ffff

by either conductor affects his entire group. The conductor

in a clarinet. This simply means that the flutist is to play his

may wish, however, to modify only one event among two or

tones at the maximum volume available in that register of

more events being performed simultaneously. To do this he

his instrument. The pppp indicates that the sound is to be


as soft as possible. All dynamic indications are “balanced”

In each set (A and B):

in this way, relative to their acoustic functions within the event-structures and the characteristics of the instrument

Pages 1:

employed in them.

There are five events for winds and five for strings. The notation is highly specific as to pitch and dynamics;

SPECIFIC INSTRUCTIONS

phrasing and duration are proportionally notated, as is the

This is a work for 19 instruments divided into two basic

vertical relationship between instruments. (Each instrument

groups, the music for the groups being designated as

sees its relationship to all others!)

A material and B material. “A material” is for six winds

These events must be very carefully rehearsed until

and four strings; “B material” is for five winds and four

performed extremely accurately as to content and shape. In

strings. The A and B designation does not mean that

performance they may be conducted in any sequence and

one set is more or less important than the other. The two

in any superimposition of strings and winds. The tempo and

materials are of equal importance within the work. It is an

overall loudness of each event may be varied each time it

“open-form” work in proportional and graphic notations.

is performed, and may be called for by the conductor any

The control of the form, the materials and the conducting

number of times (see General Modifications of Events).

techniques are basically the same as in my available Forms I and II, From Here, and Modules I and II, etc.

Page 2: wi n d s :

on personal cue to any one or more wind players

There are five possible performance formats. I strongly

the player is free to play any of the events that are between

suggest that the full 19 instruments be used, with two

vertical dotted lines, in any sequence, until he is stopped by

conductors, utilizing all A and B materials. (It is possible

a personal cut-off by the conductor.

for one conductor, but I seriously suggest that two conductors be used; one for the A materials and one

Or,

for the B materials.) if more than one player is performing this material The following performance formats may also be used: the A materials: six winds and one string quartet. B materials: five winds and one string quartet. wi n d

the

on ly

on ly

materials of both A and B materials: 11 winds.

str i ng

on ly

the

simultaneously a two-hand cut-off by the conductor indicates that all players stop! Conductors may cue any

the

sequence and/or any number of players. Players should

on ly

perform the events at the basic tempo that the conductor’s

materials of both A and B materials: two string

gesture suggests, and at the general loudness that is

quartets. In the latter four cases, one conductor is certainly

suggested, these latter to be controlled as in all events on

sufficient but two may be used. (In these cases there will

all pages (see General Modifications of Events).

always be two different instrumental units, as scored.) There are four pages in each complete set of A material

Page 2:

and B material, each of the four pages being a different

str i ng s :

kind of “activity,” notated differently for different degrees of

ensemble* string-quartet passage. The first time that

compositional control and conductor-control.

this page is conducted in each performance it is to

this material is basically a graphically notated

be performed by the string quartet as an ensemble. Subsequently the conductor may give the cue for the material to be performed as an ensemble passage (as the first time the material is used) or he may give personal cues to individual members of the quartet who then perform their individual lines soloistically

*Accurate reproduction of vertical and horizontal relationships between the four instruments.


(the conductor may overlap the four solo lines to any degree). The same conductor-implications as to tempi and loudness apply as in all other cases.

Written instrumental techniques, the relative frequency trajectories, rhythmic spacings and dynamics must be respected at all times.

Pages 3:

There are five fermata chords each for the and

str i ng s .

wi n d s

They may be conducted (as indicated

by the fingers of the left hand) in any sequence and at any speed that the musicians (with rehearsal) can comfortably follow and perform. The

wi n d s

and

str i ng s

do not, of course, have to perform the same numbered chords at the same time. Each chord is held (

) until

the conductor either stops it or gives another chord for the musicians to move to. The conductor must always prepare the musicians for the chord he wishes with lefthand number indication and down-beat with right.

Pages 4: On personal cue to any of the

wi n d

or

str i ng

players

the player is free to perform any of the pitch material from anywhere on his page of material. The notated pitches and rhythms must be respected but the player may vary the instrumental techniques and dynamics as he wishes, based, however, on the tempo and loudness suggestions as cued by the conductor. The player may make the phrases (number of notes) in any one line as long as he wishes before moving vertically to another line of material. He may freely move about the page in this manner, playing sensitively in relation to others playing until cued to stop by the conductor or another page is indicated (and cued ) to be performed. (The material on page 4 is “statistical� and undesignated as to clef or instrumental registration. If one comes upon a pitch that is out of the range of one’s particular instrument, ignore that pitch and proceed with the others.)

Earle Brown


EVENT: SYNERGY II (1967 / 68)

Earle Brown (1926–2002)

Page 1: There are five events for winds and five for strings. The notation is highly specific as to pitch and dynamics; phrasing and duration are proportionally notated, as is the vertical relationship between instruments. (Each instrument sees its relationship to all others!) These events must be very carefully rehearsed until performed extremely accurately as to content and shape. In performance they may be conducted in any sequence and in any superimposition of strings and winds. The tempo and overall loudness of each event may be varied each time it is performed, and may be called for by the conductor any number of times (see General Modifications of Events).

Page 2: Winds: on personal cue to any one or more wind players the player is free to play any of the events that are between vertical dotted lines, in any sequence, until he is stopped by a personal cut-off by the conductor.

Or, if more than one player is performing this material simultaneously a two-hand cut-off by the conductor indicates that all players stop! Conductors may cue any sequence and/or any number of players. Players should perform the events at the basic tempo that the conductor’s gesture suggests, and at the general loudness that is suggested, these latter to be controlled as in all events on all pages (see General Modifications of Events).

Litolff/Peters Nr. 11131

© 2007 by Henry Litolff ’s Verlag


Page 3: There are five fermata chords each for the winds and strings. They may be conducted (as indicated by the fingers of the left hand) in any sequence and at any speed that the musicians (with rehearsal) can comfortably follow and perform. The winds and strings do not, of course, have to perform the same numbered chords at the same time. Each chord is held ( ) until the conductor either stops it or gives another chord for the musicians to move to. The conductor must always prepare the musicians for the chord he wishes with left-hand number indication and down-beat with right.

Page 4: On personal cue to any of the wind or string players the player is free to perform any of the pitch material from anywhere on his page of material. The notated pitches and rhythms must be respected but the player may vary the instrumental techniques and dynamics as he wishes, based, however, on the tempo and loudness suggestions as cued by the conductor. The player may make the phrases (number of notes) in any one line as long as he wishes before moving vertically to another line of material. He may freely move about the page in this manner, playing sensitively in relation to others playing until cued to stop by the conductor or another page is indicated (and cued ) to be performed. (The material on page 4 is “statistical� and undesignated as to clef or instrumental registration. If one comes upon a pitch which is out of range of one’s particular instrument, ignore that pitch and proceed with the others.)


EVENT: SYNERGY II (1967 / 68)

Earle Brown (1926–2002)

Page 1: There are five events for winds and five for strings. The notation is highly specific as to pitch and dynamics; phrasing and duration are proportionally notated, as is the vertical relationship between instruments. (Each instrument sees its relationship to all others!) These events must be very carefully rehearsed until performed extremely accurately as to content and shape. In performance they may be conducted in any sequence and in any superimposition of strings and winds. The tempo and overall loudness of each event may be varied each time it is performed, and may be called for by the conductor any number of times (see General Modifications of Events).

Page 2: Strings: this material is basically a graphically notated ensemble* string quartet passage. The first time that this page is conducted in each performance it is to be performed by the string quartet as an ensemble. Subsequently the conductor may give the cue for the material to be performed as an ensemble passage (as the first time the material is used) or he may give personal cues to individual members of the quartet who then perform their individual lines soloistically (the conductor may overlap the four solo lines to any degree). The same conductorimplications as to tempi and loudness apply in all other cases.

Written instrumental techniques, the relative frequency trajectories, rhythmic spacings and dynamics must be respected at all times. *Accurate reproduction of vertical and horizontal relationships between the four instruments.

Litolff/Peters Nr. 11131

© 2007 by Henry Litolff ’s Verlag


Page 3: There are five fermata chords each for the winds and strings. They may be conducted (as indicated by the fingers of the left hand) in any sequence and at any speed that the musicians (with rehearsal) can comfortably follow and perform. The winds and strings do not, of course, have to perform the same numbered chords at the same time. Each chord is held ( ) until the conductor either stops it or gives another chord for the musicians to move to. The conductor must always prepare the musicians for the chord he wishes with left-hand number indication and down-beat with right.

Page 4: On personal cue to any of the wind or string players the player is free to perform any of the pitch material from anywhere on his page of material. The notated pitches and rhythms must be respected but the player may vary the instrumental techniques and dynamics as he wishes, based, however, on the tempo and loudness suggestions as cued by the conductor. The player may make the phrases (number of notes) in any one line as long as he wishes before moving vertically to another line of material. He may freely move about the page in this manner, playing sensitively in relation to others playing until cued to stop by the conductor or another page is indicated (and cued ) to be performed. (The material on page 4 is “statistical� and undesignated as to clef or instrumental registration. If one comes upon a pitch which is out of range of one’s particular instrument, ignore that pitch and proceed with the others.)


EVENT: SYNERGY II (1967 / 68)

Earle Brown (1926–2002)

Page 1: There are five events for winds and five for strings. The notation is highly specific as to pitch and dynamics; phrasing and duration are proportionally notated, as is the vertical relationship between instruments. (Each instrument sees its relationship to all others!) These events must be very carefully rehearsed until performed extremely accurately as to content and shape. In performance they may be conducted in any sequence and in any superimposition of strings and winds. The tempo and overall loudness of each event may be varied each time it is performed, and may be called for by the conductor any number of times (see General Modifications of Events).

Page 2: Winds: on personal cue to any one or more wind players the player is free to play any of the events that are between vertical dotted lines, in any sequence, until he is stopped by a personal cut-off by the conductor.

Or, if more than one player is performing this material simultaneously a two-hand cut-off by the conductor indicates that all players stop! Conductors may cue any sequence and/or any number of players. Players should perform the events at the basic tempo that the conductor’s gesture suggests, and at the general loudness that is suggested, these latter to be controlled as in all events on all pages (see General Modifications of Events).

Litolff/Peters Nr. 11131

© 2007 by Henry Litolff ’s Verlag


Page 3: There are five fermata chords each for the winds and strings. They may be conducted (as indicated by the fingers of the left hand) in any sequence and at any speed that the musicians (with rehearsal) can comfortably follow and perform. The winds and strings do not, of course, have to perform the same numbered chords at the same time. Each chord is held ( ) until the conductor either stops it or gives another chord for the musicians to move to. Conductor must always prepare the musicians for the chord he wishes with left-hand number indication and down-beat with right.

Page 4: On personal cue to any of the wind or string players the player is free to perform any of the pitch material from anywhere on his page of material. The notated pitches and rhythms must be respected but the player may vary the instrumental techniques and dynamics as he wishes, based, however, on the tempo and loudness suggestions as cued by the conductor. The player may make the phrases (number of notes) in any one line as long as he wishes before moving vertically to another line of material. He may freely move about the page in this manner, playing sensitively in relation to others playing until cued to stop by the conductor or another page is indicated (and cued ) to be performed. (The material on page 4 is “statistical� and undesignated as to clef or instrumental registration. If one comes upon a pitch which is out of range of one’s particular instrument, ignore that pitch and proceed with the others.)


EVENT: SYNERGY II (1967 / 68)

Earle Brown (1926–2002)

Page 1: There are five events for winds and five for strings. The notation is highly specific as to pitch and dynamics; phrasing and duration are proportionally notated, as is the vertical relationship between instruments. (Each instrument sees its relationship to all others!) These events must be very carefully rehearsed until performed extremely accurately as to content and shape. In performance they may be conducted in any sequence and in any superimposition of strings and winds. The tempo and overall loudness of each event may be varied each time it is performed, and may be called for by the conductor any number of times (see General Modifications of Events).

Page 2: Strings: this material is basically a graphically notated ensemble* string quartet passage. The first time that this page is conducted in each performance it is to be performed by the string quartet as an ensemble. Subsequently the conductor may give the cue for the material to be performed as an ensemble passage (as the first time the material is used) or he may give personal cues to individual members of the quartet who then perform their individual lines soloistically (the conductor may overlap the four solo lines to any degree). The same conductorimplications as to tempi and loudness apply in all other cases.

Written instrumental techniques, the relative frequency trajectories, rhythmic spacings and dynamics must be respected at all times. *Accurate reproduction of vertical and horizontal relationships between the four instruments.

Litolff/Peters Nr. 11131

© 2007 by Henry Litolff ’s Verlag


Page 3: There are five fermata chords each for the winds and strings. They may be conducted (as indicated by the fingers of the left hand) in any sequence and at any speed that the musicians (with rehearsal) can comfortably follow and perform. The winds and strings do not, of course, have to perform the same numbered chords at the same time. Each chord is held ( ) until the conductor either stops it or gives another chord for the musicians to move to. The conductor must always prepare the musicians for the chord he wishes with left-hand number indication and down-beat with right.

Page 4: On personal cue to any of the wind or string players the player is free to perform any of the pitch material from anywhere on his page of material. The notated pitches and rhythms must be respected but the player may vary the instrumental techniques and dynamics as he wishes, based, however, on the tempo and loudness suggestions as cued by the conductor. The player may make the phrases (number of notes) in any one line as long as he wishes before moving vertically to another line of material. He may freely move about the page in this manner, playing sensitively in relation to others playing until cued to stop by the conductor or another page is indicated (and cued ) to be performed. (The material on page 4 is “statistical� and undesignated as to clef or instrumental registration. If one comes upon a pitch which is out of range of one’s particular instrument, ignore that pitch and proceed with the others.)

EP11131 Earle Brown: Event-Synergie II  

Earle Brown: Event-Synergie II

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