LAB2: Cassandra Miller, Matthew Robertson, James Saunders

Wednesday 2 November, 12-4pm [12-2pm, CM131 / 2-4pm CM225]

The second Lab focuses on vocality and verbal communication, featuring a visit from Canadian composer Cassandra Miller. Cassandra’s Duet for Cello and Orchestra was performed at last year’s Tectonics festival in Glasgow, and she will speak about transcription and vocal quality. The Lab will also include new work by James Saunders that uses verbal cueing, and recent sound poetry by Matthew Robertson.

 

12-2pm: James Saunders / Matthew Robertson

James Saunders / I will be testing out a simple cueing mechanism for a new orchestra piece I am working on for BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra for 2017, with players instructing an ensemble with words and sounds as a way to measure their response. I will place this in the context of recent work that uses verbal cues and associates words with sounds and objects.

Matthew Robertson / In recent years my practice has shifted from commissioned graphic design towards more experimental visual/sound poetics. Much of this work makes use of found materials, from litter discovered on streets to overheard conversations in public spaces. I will present a few pieces including Residuuum: a multivoice sound poem, that gives utterance to printed dedris. Initially explored at the Writers Forum Workshop (London), it was performed at Vocal Vertebra, Fundacion Phonos, Barcelona in October 2016.

 

2-4pm: Cassandra Miller – Transcribing, translating, and singing-along

For the last many years, I’ve written music (usually for chamber ensemble or orchestra) that tries to capture the such-ness of a singing voice, or at times the vocality of particularly singer-ly instrumental performance. As a result, I have considered my main compositional practice as one of transcription, where the notating of a vocal source recording is the heart of my compositional process.

Recently, however, I’ve been searching beyond these transcribing methods, looking for a process that engages with the qualities of vocality rather than its notatable quantities. I’ve started to explore techniques involving singing-along in distracted or quasi-shamanic ways, and other process-based investigations.

I’ll speak at the Open Scores Lab about my previous transcription work, and about three new collaborations-in-progress which use the recently developed methods to investigate notions of vocality (voice-as-communication, as-melody, as-body-expression, as-identity, as-personal-agency).

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