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    Smriti   that  which  is  remembered  

  Steve  Wanna    


that which  is  remembered     Introduction   Smriti   is   for   one   soloist   (any   instrument)   and   electronics   (both   live   and   fixed).   It   addresses   memory  and  change/transformation.  The  fixed  electronics  are  generated  from  recordings  that  the   performer  makes  during  the  rehearsal/preparation  process.  This  layer  represents  the  long-­‐term   memory   or   history   of   the   piece.   The   performer   and   live   electronics   represent   the   short-­‐term   memory  and  the  present  state  of  the  piece.  Both  layers  are  shaped  by  the  current  state  as  well  as   the  history  of  the  piece.     The  following  instructions  consist  of  four  sections:   1) Generating  the  Material   2) Organizing  the  Material   3) Stage  Setup  and  Equipment   4) Explanation  of  the  Score     1.  Generating  the  Material   The  piece  revolves  around  a  few  (approx.  5-­‐10)  unique  and  readily  identifiable  sonic  events  that   are   repeatedly   presented   and   modified   in   various   ways   throughout   a   given   performance.   The   performer  creates  the  events  based  on  a  thorough  knowledge  of  their  instrument  and  a  desire  to   explore   new   sonic   and   performance   possibilities   with   that   instrument.   Events   can   be   almost   anything:   a   distinct   sound   or   sounds,   gesture(s),   a   particular   articulation,   technique,   etc,   or   any   combination   of   those,   as   long   as   the   events   remain   mostly   fixed   or   unmistakably   identifiable   throughout  the  performance.  Events  should  be  based  on  the  instrument  (e.g.  sounds  it  can  make,   ways   of   interacting   with   it,   etc)   rather   than   abstract   musical   ideas   (e.g.   a   rhythmic   or   melodic   fragment,   etc).   The   performer   will   likely   develop   and   evolve   these   articulations   through   various   rehearsals  (which  are  to  be  recorded  and  incorporated  into  the  piece  –  details  below).     2.  Organizing  the  Material   Once   the   events   are   fully   developed,   a   performance   of   the   piece   would   consist   of   the   process   of   presenting   the   events,   one   at   a   time   and   transforming   or   destroying   them   in   some   manner,   utilizing  the  score.     There   are   three   elements   present   in   each   performance:   a)   pre-­‐recorded   rehearsals;   b)   live   performer;  and  c)  live,  interactive  electronics     a) Pre-­recorded  Rehearsals   As  the  performer  works  on  developing  the  few  events  that  they  will  use  in  the  performance,   they  are  encouraged  to  explore  their  instrument  in  new  ways,  i.e.  going  beyond  the  obvious   or   immediately   available   ways   of   interacting   with   the   instrument.   As   they   move   past   this   initial   exploration   stage   and   the   events   begin   to   take   shape   (i.e.   start   becoming   unique   or   identifiable),   the   performer   should   record   rehearsals   in   which   they   begin   to   go   through   an   entire  performance  (cycling  through  events  and  transforming  them).  They  may  either  record   an   entire   rehearsal   to   be   played   back   during   the   performance   or   record   individual   events   from   multiple   rehearsals   and   edit   them   together   (if   the   latter,   editing   should   be   limited   to   stringing  events  together,  i.e.  no  mixing  should  be  done).      


The rehearsals   need   not   be   perfect   (i.e.   dress-­‐rehearsal   quality),   but   any   rehearsals   where   the  performer  is  still  heavily  exploring  or  struggling  with  the  material  probably  need  not  be   recorded,  although  this  decision  is  up  to  the  performer.  Also,  the  recordings  don’t  necessarily   need   to   be   of   professional   quality,   but   some   effort   should   be   made   to   capture   good   quality   recordings  (they  can  also  be  recorded  in  mono  since  playback  will  be  over  a  single  speaker).     b) Live  Performer   A   performance   is,   in   principle,   not   any   different   from   any   of   the   rehearsals   in   that   the   performer   repeats   the   same   process   (though   the   results   may   be   quite   different   due   to   the   openness  of  the  process  as  outlined  by  the  score).  The  performer  should  make  every  effort  to   maintain   the   integrity   and   uniqueness   of   each   event,   keeping   in   mind   that   minor   or   incidental  variations  are  fine.     The  performer  is  encouraged  to  not  simply  memorize  and  repeat  the  ways  by  which  they’ll   transform   events   in   performance.   They’re   encouraged   to   approach   each   realization   of   the   score   (whether   a   rehearsal   or   a   performance)   with   a   fresh   perspective   trying   to   always   seek   and  discover  new  ways  of  approaching  the  piece  and  exploring  their  instrument.    

c) Live, Interactive  Electronics   In   some   ways,   the   live   electronics   mirror   what   the   performer   is   doing.   They   relate   to,   and   interact  with  their  environment  based  on  a  somewhat  predefined  framework.  

3.  Stage  Setup  and  Equipment   In   addition   to   the   performer   and   their   instrument   (plus   chair,   music   stand,   etc   as   needed),   the   piece  calls  for  the  following  equipment:   -­‐ 2  Loudspeakers   -­‐ 1  directional  microphone   -­‐ 1  computer  running  MAX/MSP   -­‐ Interface  or  mixing  console  to  route  audio  from  mic  to  computer  for  processing,  then  back   to  speakers  for  playback.     The   microphone   picks   up   sound   from   the   performer   (with   as   much   isolation   from   the   two   speakers   as   possible)   and   sends   it   to   the   computer   to   be   processed   by   MAX/MSP,   which   then   sends   the   processed   sounds   back   to   Speaker   1   for   playback.   Speaker   2   plays   back   only   pre-­‐ recorded  sounds  that  the  performer  has  collected  from  various  rehearsals  as  explained  above.     The  equipment  is  setup  on  stage  as  follows:    


Spkr 1  

Spkr 2  




4. Explanation  of  the  Score   The   score   is   a   framework   that   the   performer   uses   to   navigate   the   process   of   transforming   the   selected   events.     It   consists   of   five   pages,   each   with   several   symbols   on   them.   Each   symbol   represents   a   singular,   self-­‐contained   event,   separated   by   some   silence   from   surrounding   events.   An   event   consists   of   a   presentation   of   one   of   the   unique   sound   objects   that   the   performer   has   decided  on,  and  some  transformation(s)  of  it.  There  are  five  pages  of  score.  Only  one  page  should   be  used  in  a  given  performance.     Each   symbol   is   made   up   of   a   solid   circle   with   one   or   more   arrows   coming   out   of   it   or   going   into   it.   The  circle  represents  the  unique  event  (any  of  the  chosen  events  maybe  be  used)  and  the  arrows   represent  either  transformations  of  that  event  (straight  arrows  on  the  right  side  of  the  circle)  or   interaction-­‐related  activities  (curved  arrows  on  the  right  and/or  left  side  of  the  circle).     Transformations   Transformations   are   represented   by   straight,   solid   arrows   either   coming   out   of   the   right   hand  side  of  the  solid  circle  or  going  into  the  left  side  of  it  (see  picture  below).  Dashed  arrows   represent   optional   transformations   (to   be   executed   simultaneously   with   solid   arrows).   A   transformation   is   considered   a   change   of   one   or   more   parameters   of   the   event   in   some   direction   (increasing,   decreasing,   etc).   For   instance,   an   arrow   pointing   upward   might   be   interpreted  as  an  increase  in  how  noisy  an  event  might  become,  or  an  increase  of  the  number   of  fingers  pressed,  or  amount  of  air  being  blown  into  an  instrument,  etc.  It’s  possible  to  apply   any   given   transformation   to   multiple   parameters   simultaneously   (e.g.   increasing   the   loudness  along  with  the  noisiness,  while  also  raising  the  pitch).     The   duration   it   takes   the   performer   to   interpret   each   symbol   (event   and   any   transformations)   is   completely   open.   It   is   likely   to   vary   somewhere   between   5   and   40   seconds,  but  quite  possibly  longer.     Symbols   (an   event   and   some   transformation(s)   of   it)   should   be   separated   by   long   silences   not  shorter  than  5~10  seconds  (but  can  be  longer).    

  There  are  8  different  possible  transformations:   1. Increase  quickly  (starting  with  one  of  the  unique  events)  –  vertical  arrow  pointing  up   2. Decrease  quickly  (starting  with  one  of  the  unique  events)  –  vertical  arrow  pointing  down   3. Increase  gradually  (starting  with  one  of  the  unique  events)  –  angled  arrow  pointing  up   4. Decrease   gradually   (starting   with   one   of   the   unique   events)   –   angled   arrow   pointing   down   5. Increase  gradually  (starting  away  from  one  of  the  unique  events,  and  ending  on  it)   6. Decrease  gradually  (starting  away  from  one  of  the  unique  events,  and  ending  on  it)   7. Change  and  return  (starting  with  a  unique  event,  moving  away  from  it  and  then  returning   to  it.  Moving  away  can  be  either  by  increasing  or  decreasing,  gradually  or  abruptly)   8. Remain  the  same  (present  a  unique  event  and  hold  it  without  change)    


This layer   of   interpretation   is   completely   restricted   to   the   performer   and   their   instrument   and  should  not  in  any  way  involve  the  surrounding  environment  or  any  sounds  and  activities   in  it.     Interactions   In  addition  to  the  transformation  arrows,  some  symbols  will  have  curved  arrows  on  the  right   and/or  left  hand  side  of  the  solid  circle  (see  picture  below).  These  open  up  the  possibility  for   the  performer  to  interact  with  their  surroundings.  Interactions  can  be  either:   -­‐ With  something  currently  happening  (sounds,  activities,  etc).  This  type  is  represented   by  curved  arrows  on  the  right,  and/or     -­‐ Something  that  occurred  at  some  point  in  the  past,  either  in  this  performance  or  in  a   rehearsal.  This  type  is  represented  by  curved  arrows  on  the  left  of  the  circle.    

    The   nature   and   scope   of   these   interactions   is   entirely   up   to   the   performer.   They’re   free   to   interact  with  any  elements  (sonic,  spatial,  physical,  etc)  they  choose.  


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