visit foundation high scatter
for two guitars
duration ~ 14-15 minutes
Commissioned by Made in Canada Duo (Michael Ibsen & Nathan Bredeson)
with generous support from the Canada Council for the Arts
visit foundation high scatter is a multi-version composition in which the structure of the work is reconfigurable. During performance, the piece is a continuous flow of uninterrupted music that consists of 5 large musical segments with repeating transitions at the beginning and the end of each segment. Prior to each performance, the musicians select the order of these segments and connect them through the overlapping transitions, relying on improvisation and spatial notation to connect the larger sections of music. There are a total of 24 possible arrangements, creating 24 different versions of the piece—each being just as complete and equally as important as any other arrangement.
My intention in creating a multi-version composition connects to my personal desire to explore writing music that invites multiple ways of recalling it. Anticipating moments in music and being able to know how music ‘goes’ is one of the many pleasurable aspects of a listening experience, the time away from that experience and remembering it influences the way we re-encounter that music.
While writing this work, I also reflected on growing up in Mexico City and the prevalence of the classical guitar in its musical heritage. The echoes of melodies, textures, and dances that unfold throughout the piece are a collection of my own memories and feelings that slowly emerged through its composition, reminding me of a faded national identity or a lost psychological geography that grows a little less recognizable over time, but that simultaneously has become more 'core'—a yearning perhaps.
A deeper look into my approach and development of "impermanent large-scale form" can be found in my 2010 dissertation, in case you want to check it out, you can find it here.
All possible arrangements
visit foundation high scatter (2,3,4,5)
foundation visit high scatter (3,2,4,5)
high visit foundation scatter (4,2,3,5)
visit high foundation scatter (2,4,3,5)
foundation high visit scatter (3,4,2,5)
high foundation visit scatter (4,3,2,5)
high foundation scatter visit (4,3,5,2)
foundation high scatter visit (3,4,5,2)
scatter high foundation visit (5,4,3,2)
high scatter foundation visit (4,5,3,2)
foundation scatter high visit (3,5,4,2)
scatter foundation high visit (5,3,4,2)
scatter visit high foundation (5,2,4,3)
visit scatter high foundation (2,5,4,3)
high scatter visit foundation (4,5,2,3)
scatter high visit foundation (5,4,2,3)
visit high scatter foundation (2,4,5,3)
high visit scatter foundation (4,2,5,3)
foundation visit scatter high (3,2,5,4)
visit foundation scatter high (2,3,5,4)
scatter foundation visit high (5,3,2,4)
foundation scatter visit high (3,5,2,4)
visit scatter foundation high (2,5,3,4)
scatter visit foundation high (5,2,3,4)
The recording of this work was in January of 2022 in the artists' individual studios in Ottawa, Canada and Utrecht, Netherlands. Prior to recording, each guitarist received a copy of the score that included their part only, agreeing to record individually and without any knowledge of the other guitarist's part. Without a complete score, each guitarist committed to their part and allowed me the opportunity to edit and mix their recordings together. By recording in isolation and without awareness of each other's parts, the guitarists engaged in a process mirroring themes of distance, memory, and time, that are central to the piece.