James Bean – This will rub against my grid

For a year I lived atop a heavily wooded hill in the Pacific Northwest. The dense chilled fog of the late-night and early-morning that settles around the hill's base is most definitely an object in and of itself, though it operates further as a modifier of other things, as well as the modified. Point-source headlights in a night clear of this fog pierce through the trees, offering an observer a distinct location, direction and velocity of a car floating up and down along the undulative descent. This car moves, though it is localizeable. As the fog accumulates, the lit car exists outside of itself, in an increasingly non-localizeable spray of light, through which now the trees puncture. The once-point-source has now split and crawled into each static damp particle, becoming a composite lit presence. The fog has ignited and is ignited.

As the local altitude gradients surge and recede, modulating the overall decline, the car and its lights pop in and out of this diffusive filter. At one moment, the car exists at a single point; at the next, it is swallowed (in one dimension) and is reemerged expanded (in another). While it loses its focused presence, it gains a distance, warmth, and ubiquitousness.

Perhaps this is a fair analog from upon which we can enter this music for flute.

When approaching the potential materials for this will rub against my grid, I considered this sense of diffusion and interpenetration — not only the ways in which breath could be filtered locally (density of fog, temperature) but also dynamically over time (dipping up and down into varying densities of diffusion, texture). There are times in this piece when pure pitch materials emerge, pointed, directional, and definite. The flute is moving, though it is localizeable. There are other times when the location of sound is dispersed in a bath of lateral dimension, as the air coming into the flute is heavily filtered by obfuscatory activity in the mouth.

This fleeting sense of activity is resultant from a relationship of many motions, the way the tongue is interacting with the teeth in various ways, and how that affects the flow, direction, and dispersion of air. What is perceived during the performance can't be defined by any singular activity, but rather it must be an incalculable multi-repercussion of many events. The sonic and performative material here must be the connective tissue between the objective directions on the page, not the directions themselves. In a sense, what can be put on the page is the location of the car, the temperature and humidity of the air, possibly more meteorological data. Maybe the lumen-rating of the headlights. What is experienced, however, is the disorienting momentary glow of the fog, and the thrill, or possibly the danger, of driving through it late at night.

What is on the page, the information that the player must physically and intellectually internalize in various ways, are things like the pitch content (which emerges more directionally at some points and more diffused at others — sometimes it is miles away), tongue activity (consonants like [k], [t], and [s], and other techniques like tongue-pizzicato, flutter-tongue, and traditional articulations), loosening the embouchure to create an "airier" sound, singing, and a few other environmental figures. These obfuscations themselves are given further dimension, as well as intensity, when the player may have indicated to inhale while going through these motions.

I imagine this piece as a set of sounds where there may be multiple lit objects, independently bobbing in and out of these blurring states throughout our field-of-view. Sometimes we are able to sonically capture many of these objects; sometimes we are staring into one head-on.