LOW STOCK LEVEL
Solo Cello no. 1 For Charles Curtis
"When Ilya Monosov handed me the score which he wished me to realize, I was relieved that it revealed a complete absence of composerly attributes; it struck me as an honest, an entirely sincere parallel reconfiguring in pictorial, or spatial form, of the disposition of sounds and sound states, and the feelings that inhere in sounds... in response to the photographs and their airy, sky-directed orientation, I created a group of airy, diffuse, diaphanous, unfocused cello sounds, using the extended corpus of the cello as a unified vibrational field, and expressing the point at which cello sound production breaks up into unspecific matter, or diffuses, freeing itself of singular pitch or any other characteristics lending specificity... I organized these sound states into a continuum from extremely diffuse to not so diffuse, the least diffuse being a high artificial harmonic played sul ponticello (and this the only sound actually played conventionally on a string)... we agreed the most diffuse was to be silence... therefore, including silence, I had at my disposal an incremental set or pallette of eleven sound states... applied to the score, we agreed that, read from bottom to top, the most widely spaced sky-strips, as figuratively admitting the largest volume of air, be assigned the most diffuse sounds; and the narrowest the least diffuse... durations were determined by taking a visual average of the faintness of the two wires delineating a sky strip, with the most faintly delineated strips the longest durations, the most boldly the shortest... to this end Ilya Monosov provided a scale of five durations, in seconds 20, 30, 45, 80, 100... thus with five durations and eleven sound states I identified seventy-one separate events and played them accordingly..." --Charles Curtis. "All sound recorded live in one take with no multitracking or layering of any kind."