- Release Date 2015-11-27
- Label Clang
- Catalog CLANG032
Glass is fragile. Glass is easily broken. Most glass instruments ignore these facts and instead focus on the material's delicate beauty. With my particular instrumentarium of glass instruments I embrace the danger this fragility evokes. The possibility is allowed for these instruments to shatter at any point during performance. When this happens, the music is changed by the new tones that emerge, dictated from the object's harmonic fissures. It can be unpredictable and not always welcome but always accepted.
Almost all the sounds in this particular piece, Standing Breakage (for Stan Brakhage), come from one quartz crystal glass bowl which had been struck a bit too forcefully during a rehearsal a few months before. The instrument was still whole but there was a clean fracture from it's rim to it's base. Right away I knew I needed to record the attempts to complete the breakage. I was curious to hear which new pitches would result from splitting apart the original pitch of G#.
But once again glass proved to be unpredictable, this time in its refusal to break further. As hard as I tried throughout the recordings for this project, the bowl would not continue to crack. Many wonderful sounds were coaxed from this one object in its unusual state, particularly the vibrations resulting from rubbing and striking near the fissure. But short of taking to it with a metal hammer, the bowl remained magnificently intact. By altering and manipulating these sounds, I believe the result is as mysterious as the material of glass itself.
This piece is dedicated to the late experimental filmaker Stan Brakhage, who on occasion closely filmed glass objects. He was also friends, from a very young age, with my teacher and mentor, composer James Tenney.