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Le Passant/The Wanderer

My idea for this piece of music was to create  a conflict, setting up specialists in improvisation against traditionally composed orchestral music. I wanted to put together that which shouldn't really go together, in hopes of creating something wild and new.

At first I composed a piece and recorded it with excellent classically-trained musicians. Then I gathered our group of improvisational musicians into the studio to hear the the pre-recorded score for the first time, while reacting musically against it. For the most part, result was done in one take. Was it in the end more of a conflict or cooperation? I think it was more of a conflict. It took things and put them out of balance. But I think it made better music--somehow it boosted the weakness of each kind of music by using the strengths of the other.

Someone once said I was a bit of a conceptual artist; I'll take that. I do like to try out an idea and then whatever happens, happens. But I always seem to end up with so many layers. I wish I could stretch things out sometimes, be linear... my thickness borders on chaos.


This is a part of the score. I like that we can interact with it. I needed a way to visualize the distribution of labour across the orchestra, so I assigned a colour to an instrument, or group of instruments. I worked on it with the whole thing on the wall, so I could see things globally--as a whole.

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I used these mixing grids to keep track of the four different recording sessions. There was so much material. I had to make sure everything got into the right place. The grids can be flipped through. Zoom in wherever and you can see the numbered cues. Black is for orchestra; yellow for saxaphone and drums; blue is bass, violin and drums. Red is percussion by me. I had to build up the piece using this system. There was a gigantic amount of information--it was a bit of a problem, really.

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