If you will indulge me, I have a quick thought on what yesterday's Preteen Pornstar - In Seas performance was.
In 1964 Terry Riley published what became a rather famous classical/minimalist piece called "In C". In it, a group of musicians would slowly work their way through a series of melodies, moving through the series at their own pace.
"In Seas" is an allusion to this manner of performance, with one major conceptual change: I wanted to make the audience the performers, and wanted them to be untrained, unprepared, and thrown into the deep end of the show by surprise. And, being the controlling type, I framed them within the confines of the pre-recorded context that is fragments of the Preteen corpus.
"In Seas" was also a conscious reference to a saying I heard once: "Life is a violin recital where you're learning to play the instrument as you go along", though I swapped out the life-metaphor of the violin for the slightly more forgiving flutophone; I am not a monster. Of course, "In Seas" does not have the pressure of a true solo recital: the performers are part of a group, two tribes in fact, working in harmony give or take a few cents of a note. The absurdity of trying to follow the tentacle looking sheets in rhythm with the rather loud electronic score providing ever moving context is shared with other people. This removes the pressure and unites the audience against a shared 'other', the musician on-stage, in a relationship that is at the same time symbiotic, subservient/dominant, and antagonistic.
Musically, I was hoping perhaps to create a self-awareness similar to the moment in John Cage's 4'33" where the audience realizes that they were in fact the performers of the piece all along, that after all any sound made in the audience is as valid as anything coming from onstage. Metaphorically, if I might be indulged in preaching for a moment, while it is true that life is impossible to perfect on first pass, it is also true that we are all born equally bad at violin, and by joining as a tribe and mindlessly screeching our way through this thing in as best a rhythm and harmony as we can join in, is the best bet we have for making sense of the absurd endeavor of living.
Thank you for attending and performing, be it as musician, or audience.
- Preteen Pornstar
Aug 12 2011