'Pattern, Form and Silence in Amalgamations, an Extended Duration Work'
New Sound International Journal of Music, 30 Jun 2019
Abstract: The article examines Sophie Stone’s composition Amalgamations (2016), an extended duration work for solo organ. Pattern is explored in the form of both the notation and performance of the piece. The notation comprises verbal and graphic notation, with many possible combinations of instructions resulting in sustained sounds and silence. Amalgamations is non-linear and non-teleological. Tim Ingold’s notion of ‘wayfaring’ provides a way of understanding how a performer may negotiate the notation. Due to the improvisatory and aleatoric elements of the piece, each performance will be different. Numerous types of silences will result from performances of Amalgamations and the experience of these silences are different and are determined by the sounds surrounding them.
‘Performing Temporal Processes’
co-authored by Lauren Redhead, Alistair Zaldua, Steve Gisby & Sophie Stone
New Sound International Journal of Music,13 Nov 2017
Abstract: This article explores the way that the performance of temporal processes in recent contemporary music reveals something about the nature of musical time. Process music deals with time as a part of its material, offering the opportunity to experience time as time: the expression and experience of units of time that are defined by, and enclose, processes, in works whose forms are defined by their durations. This experience of musical time has been described by Kramer as ‘vertical time’ (1981/1988): the extended perception of a single moment. Such an experience can be identified in Gisby’s Iterative Music (2012–) and Zaldua’s Foreign Languages (2013–17). The moment-to-moment sonic details of the works are undefined and are discoverable only as they unfold, highlighting the unpredictability of sometimes highly prescriptive music.
Bergson’s (1889;1910) Time and Free Will outlines the distinction between time as units of duration and ‘real duration’, which is the experience of time passing in the present. In the latter case “several conscious states are organised into a whole, permeate one another, gradually gain a richer content” (1910, 122). The duration of Spahlinger’s Eigenzeit from Vorsläge (1992–93) is determined by its processes, which are undetermined until they are enacted. Stone furthers this in As sure as time... (2016–) by imagining each performance as a unit of duration in a theoretical meta-performance. These pieces show how the performance of temporal process makes concrete the quantitative nature of duration and shifts the focus of the listener to vertical time.