in trails players are required to translate a purely electronic composition into acoustic sound. i.e. instead of being reproduced through loudspeakers, the synthesised musical gestures are mirrored by humans, re-imagining techniques for physical instruments in order to match the electronic sounds. 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 visualisations of traditional notation.
the source is never revealed in its entirety to the audience and the source recording, available only to the performers during rehearsals, is withheld from digital distribution – access as a formal device, addressable through composition, and a falsification of claims of universal availability of digital audio content.
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. through the improvisational nature of instrumentation and technique in trails (while movements in time and spectrum are fixed) decidedly different acoustic conversions in subsequent performances are not just encouraged, but 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 performance.
trails for 3 percussion players and live electronics
german first performance: now festival / zollverein essen, november 9, 2013 with stephan froleyks, matthias engler and gereon voss (percussion).