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    Mark Applebaum – The Metaphysics of Notation

    Mark Applebaum - The Metaphysics of Notation

    Mark Applebaum’s The Metaphysics of Notation is a musical composition based on a purely graphic score with no written or verbal instructions. For a whole year, this document, which more closely resembles abstract art than traditional notation, hung on a series of panels and mobiles in the Cantor Arts Center at Stanford University, its quirky shapes inspiring 45 of Mark’s fellow composers and other players to improvise their little hearts out. Push “Play” on this DVD, and you’ll encounter musicians who play instruments not to form a song, but to play with space. And there’s plenty of that in the Cantor, which supplies a long natural reverb. A one-minute excerpt from each musician’s performance was masterfully edited together by Mark to form one long, flowing, 45-minute piece complete with a slide show of the players. (Unfortunately, these photos look kind of grey, as if they were uploaded straight out of a point-and-shoot camera and left as is. Someone should have elbowed Mark out of the way to boost the contrast and sharpen those pups!)

    The music, which is available in surround sound or stereo, cross fades from thorny acoustic improv to laptop drones, from crazily playful accapella vocalizations to electric guitar abstractions, from piping flutes to gurgling synthesizers and so much more. Soloists, duos, trios, ensembles, they’re all here, ya hear? And the bonus features include eight and 16-minute scrolling versions of the score for you to realize your own version at home. (I hope to give it a shot myself someday!) There’s also a nicely filmed documentary on the piece and its composer, with his shock of wild hair and colorful glasses that match his attire, along with commentary from peers, friends and family. Any and all fans of free improvisation and avant-garde classical would do well to pick up a copy of this fine DVD.

    Label: Innova Catalog Number: Innova 787 Format: DVD Packaging: Digi-Pak Tracks: 3 Total Time: 73 minutes Country: United States Released: 2010 More: Amazon, Official, Wikipedia, YouTube

    Text ©2011 Arcane Candy

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