It’s not that what is past casts its light on what is present, or what is present casts its light on what is past; rather, image is that wherein what has been comes together in a flash with the now to form a constellation.
Walter Benjamin – The Arcades Project
Direct discourse is a detached fragment of a mass and is born of the dis-memberment of the collective assemblage; but the collective assemblage is always like the murmur from which I take my proper name, the constellation of voices, concordant or not, from which I draw my voice.
Gilles Deleuze & Félix Guattari – A Thousand Plateaus
In my recent compositions, I have invited the personal idiom of specific performers to direct my work. Portrait Collection pushes that further, exploring how the notion of portraiture can inform the composer-performer relationship. Each one of my subjects is a musician with a singular sound and improvisation practice. During a number of sittings/sessions, I collect their ideas and sounds, which I later sort and distill to draw out their essence. I then imagine frameworks in which these essential elements inhabit different spaces, sometimes alongside performances by the original subjects.
Portrait Collection investigates how we perceive time and space in performance, both as musicians and listeners. How can past performances be remixed with live musicians? Can the chronological time of performance be somehow warped? How do we deal with mediated spaces inside performance spaces?
Portrait Collection exists in different formats, from album to installation, via performance. An important milestone of the project took place in Montreal on June 8, 2016, in coproduction with Productions Supermusique with all the portrait subjects present for a celebration performance at Le Vivier. Check out this video postcard:
Listen to a sample from the archives:
The performers/portraits are:
Daniel Blake, saxophone (New York)
Katelyn Clark, harpsichord/organetto (Montreal)
Peter Evans, trumpet (New York)
Mary Halvorson, guitar (New York)
Dana Jessen, bassoon (Oberlin, OH)
Adam Kinner, saxophone (Montreal)
Philippe Lauzier, bass clarinet (Montreal)
Cléo Palacio-Quintin, (hyper)flute (Montreal)
An album version of Portrait Collection is forthcoming! Stay tuned.
This project was made possible with the support of: