All English Music is Greensleeves – Solo

All English Music is Greensleeves – solo (2016)

The purpose of the original “All English Music is Greenselves” was to challenge the ‘automatic pilot’ of ensemble musicians following a discussion with an English conductor who told me that ‘England has a very good sight- reading practice’. I wanted to challenge this sight-reading tradition by creating something that would be impossible to sight-read.

In this new solo version of the piece, I attached a microphone to an accordion and a tactile speaker to the base of a rectangular stretched canvas. By doing this, the canvas became a vibrating speaker. The microphone is directly connected to the speaker via a small audio mixer. Therefore, whenever the instrument is played, the sound is fed back to the canvas.

The stretched canvas was painted with a musical staff, with on top note-heads crafted from pieces of lightweight foam. At the beginning of the piece the foam note-heads spell out the first nine notes of the Greensleeves melody.

The microphone on the accordion transfers the sound to the tactile speaker, which makes the canvas vibrate and displaces the notes, creating a constantly changing melody. The player continues attempting to play the constantly changing melody until the notes move off the score or find a state of equilibrium. Below are a few pictures as an example of a possible process.