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Focal Music #3, #4, #5a, #5b


Mark Fell on Focal Music: "This series of works on this cassette began in 2011 when I attended a workshop/residency program led by the British sound artist, composer and performer Jan Hendrickse. During a workshop session I played a pattern generating system via headphones to a drummer, Patrik Jarlestam, who played a single snare drum. The basic premise of the work was that the performer should follow the pattern as accurately as possible, and to see what happened at the moments when the pattern changed - i.e. to foreground the performer's attempts to follow the pattern and their ability to cope with the subtle yet unusual changes. The pattern itself consists of a single percussive sound. The timing of the sound is determined by a list of five values ranging from one to 11 that represent timing intervals... Although the patterns are relatively simple, and as a listener one can assimilate their form quite easily, it can be quite difficult to play along to them especially at those moments of change. So the piece can be thought of as a kind of intervention into the musical training and embedded musical vocabularies that the performer brings to the work. The point of the piece is not a perfect recital, but the difficulties that the performer encounters and the musical moments that these difficulties produce. Unfortunately I believe there is no recording of Jarlestam's first performance of this piece - 'Focal Music #1'. The piece was performed a second time by Okkyung Lee during her residency at Cafe Oto, London 2015. 'Focal Music #3' was performed with Laura Cannell at Baltic 39 (Newcastle, 2015) for Broken Telephone, an event which formed part of Peter J. Evans's exhibition Across Islands, Divides. 'Focal Music #4' was performed with Aby Vulliamy at The Leeds Library (Leeds, 2015). 'Focal Music #5a' and 'Focal Music #5b' were recorded with Sandro Mussida at Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie (Karlsruhe, 2016) in the Kubus studio. The piece, performed on piano, takes two forms: the first based upon a six note pitch set of which any two notes are played at the same time; the second is formed of five discreet layers each with a single note. These were played in isolation following the same guide pattern and then later overlaid to form a single pseudo chord." Tracks mastered for this release by Phil Julian; Edition of 150.