tsii in the news: movement, block cloth shirts & microtonal explorations
this was an exciting week for tsii. through new friends silvia tarozzi & deborah walker, tsiimade block cloth shirts were featured on the REDCAT theater stage in downtown los angeles, and then made it into the los angeles times.
on tuesday, french composer pascale criton debuted 2 new pieces at REDCAT. longtime collaborators deborah walker (cello) and silvia tarozzi (violin) were joined by los angeles local, eyvind kang (viola) to deliver the world premiere performance of steppings for 3 and thresholds. these new pieces, paired with earlier works bothsways, circle process, and chaoscaccia, made for an evening of graceful, embodied microtonal music.
to work within the microcosm of sound & noise, criton explores the vibrations between the notes on the western piano, tuning guitar, violin, & cello strings to 1/16 of a tone apart. this attention to detail extends to the rest of the playing as well. walker & tarozzi have become masters at bowing the wood bodies of their instruments, elegantly dropping their bows onto the strings, and creating other creaks & whispers with extended techniques.
the result is a new universe of sound that brings music back to nature, where all connections are possibilities, rather than certain preset combinations. for criton & her collaborators, energetics are essential. the music that the composer & performers ask to become should be linked with their own becoming. criton thinks in gestures & topographies, shifts & psychic relations. the music is on unstable ground, just as we often are, and exists acoustically as an embodied phenomenon, where noise is inseparable from sound & tone.
I was so honored that deborah walker chose to wear her tsiimade block cloth shirt for this debut performance. the shirt came to life on stage as her gestures pulled the winglike sleeve now open, now closed. the movement of the top reminded me of the importance of the body in music-making, where every energetic intention of the musician expresses itself through the physical body, which in turn takes form in audible resonance.