in trails, players are required to translate a purely electronic composition into acoustic sound. i.e. instead of being reproduced through loudspeakers, the synthesized musical gestures are mirrored by human performers who re-image physical instruments and techniques in order to match the electronic originals. optionally parts of the work can be assigned to live electronics, blending in elements of the original source in varying degrees. thus the line between composition and performance is further blurred and becomes an aesthetic parameter in its own right. the source is never revealed in its entirety though. through the improvisational nature of instrumentation and technique in trails (while movements in time and spectrum are fixed) decidedly differing acoustic conversions in subsequent performances are not just encouraged, but de facto enforced.
the electronic score (which consists of an electronic audio recording + a rhythmic notation-only score for rehearsal purposes) translates only as a contour, imprinting itself onto each acoustic performance. developed as an alternative method of music notation, the score constitutes a more holistic, perception-based representation of its musical objects and their gestural movements rather than the necessarily parametric visualization of traditional notation. at the same time the source recording is withheld from digital distribution, thus serving as an instance of falsification of claims of universal availability of digital audio content.
trails for 3 percussion players and live electronics, commissioned by ny musikk for only connect festival 2013: ‘machine dreams’, was premiered on june 8, 2013 at kunstnernes hus, oslo, norway. the players of the first performance were pinquins and stefan goldmann.
the german first performance was at now festival / zollverein essen on november 9, 2013 with stephan froleyks, matthias engler and gereon voss (percussion).