On “Few”–Charlie Sdraulig

few is for a person listening and responding to the sonic environment around them. Responses include: breath filtered through a variety of mouth shapes as well as tongue clicks, hums and whistles. These barely externalised sounds are an almost imperceptible trace of concentrated perceptual effort. There is often only a risk of these sounds being produced and then heard.

This piece may be performed alone, privately, or to a few others very close to the person listening and responding, in any very quiet environment.

The performance directions that accompany the score are as follows:

  1. Enter a very quiet environment, be still.
  2. Spend a short time listening to the environment.
  3. There are continuous and non-continuous ambient sounds (ambient sounds are sounds that you do not intend or are not responsible for creating).
  4. Start the score (preferably perform from memory).
  5. Your sounds and breath pressure should always be barely audible over the continuous ambient sounds, according to your perception alone.
  6. When a non-continuous ambient sound occurs, stop performing the score.
  7. Listen again (breathe slowly, steadily and as quietly as possible as you listen).
  8. Have the continuous ambient sounds changed? If so, adjust your sounds and breath pressure so that they are again only barely audible to you.
  9. Resume your progress through the score, beginning at the nearest ‘breath in’ before the point at which you stopped.
  10. Repeat steps 6 to 9 until you reach the end of the score.

(The division between continuous and non-continuous sounds is arbitrary. You must decide how to classify any given ambient sound. It may be useful to think of continuous sounds as relatively long sounds and non-continuous sounds as relatively short sounds. Exactly how you interpret these terms and divide ambient sounds will drastically alter the length of a performance.)

(If the environment changes in a way that makes it impossible to finish the score, abandon the performance.)

The score is here, if you would like to try it: http://www.charliesdraulig.com/few.pdf

1 Response to On “Few”–Charlie Sdraulig

  1. Pingback: a loud whisper | Michael Baldwin

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