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Aesthetic Distinctions and Musical Lives
I’m really interested in moving from one material to another one, or
like having this really slow and controlled movements, or really slow
developments... working on a crescendo for like 15 minutes. [...] Working
on extremes, or on control... really to push the borders of this Improvised
Music thing.
And for 43-year-old American reeds player Chris Heenan, in the duo Pivot:
We take things further than we want to go. Like if we have a phrase, instead
of playing it five times, we might play it thirty-five times or something... We
play it over and over. And then the rule is, when you feel like it’s time to
stop - keep going! So you’re at that point where it’s like “That’s enough”
- well - go much further! We actually had people laugh some of the times
that Pivot played.
Backgrounds and instrumentations of Durational music were all-inclusive, and, again,
traditional instrumental roles (such as soloist and rhythm section, or leader and
accompanist) were not observed - all musicians and instruments were considered equal,
and contributed equally to the process.
6. ‘Textural music without a jazz association’, Textural Improv
Derived from certain aspects of European Free/Abstract Improvised Music, in Textural
Improvised Music, the focus was on creating a texture as a group, with all musicians equal.
Sounds, noises, extended techniques and pitches were all used; however, traditional
instrumental roles were no longer present - the aim being a group sound where all
were subsumed in the resultant texture (as opposed to creating individual lines, as in
European Free/Abstract Improvised Music). This approach was not necessarily as quiet,
transparent, silent or minimal as the Reductionist school, and was often busy - rarely
focussing on silence. Again, little- to no- aesthetic traces of jazz remained, and whilst
any instrumentation was possible, acoustic instruments were generally preferred.
7. Noise, Acoustic Noise
Mainly electronic, noise-based, loud and harsh, Noise music was mostly based around
solo performances. Almost entirely avoiding pitched material, variation was created by
the manipulation and sculpting of frequencies within different ‘coloured’ noises, often
over extended durations of up to 1 hour.
‘Acoustic noise’ was a term used by 49-year-old guitarist Olaf Rupp, to reference acoustic
music that set out to create the same effect through the use of extended techniques on
acoustic instruments.12
The term ‘analog granular synthesis’ appeared on Rupp’s website [Rupp, 2013], whereas the term