Metakosmia

Hung in the center of a room, this expanded score is to be performed at best by at least four people.

 

    I. Instrumentation

 

Composition for voice, winds, and tiny instruments. Performers can use any instrument of their choice, in so far as the instrument doesn’t need to be plugged into a wall, and as long as it’s light and they are confortable walking around with it for extended periods of time.

 

    II. Choreography

 

The entire choreography can be subject to change as the performers see fit. These instructions should be taken more as guidelines that can help towards a first encounter with the score.

 

Positioning: Performers should stand next to each other facing the score. To the extent that it’s possible, they should try to be touching arms with the ones next to them.

 

Reading: Tempo and duration are variable. High and low on the page refer only to relative pitch. Each color is to be interpreted by one person only. Entrances and exits can be either pre-arranged by performers in a hocket system or improvised, but they should always make sure to not have two performers play the same color. Each color makes a phrase. Colors do not repeat, they continue for as long as their phrase does, and their exit is always for good. When a performer is a color, then they can only play that color until the color exists.

Often times, two colors intersect in the same pitch; these are moments of recalibration. Since pitch is relative, performers have to be mindful of each other’s sense of duration, which can be gaged by active listening in the inflections in pitch. Only once do four colors play in the same continuum, this means that, for most of the performance, at least one person will be silent. The role of the silent one is shared almost equally, and it serves as a reminder of active listening as well as touching.

 

Movement: The score should be read by walking around it. Since performers should try to be touching, the duration will be determined by sound’s as much as body’s tempo. Phrasing is based on rises and falls of pitch. Often a phrase will end in a fall. Nevertheless, simultaneous phrases will be happening at once. When a color falls, pitch falls, and correspondingly, the performer should try to physically kneel when playing a pitch fall. The performers next to the falling one will have to bend their bodies down a little in order to keep touching while at the same time sustain their given pitches, usually producing a de-acceleration of the tempo. This is in order to encourage recalibration of speed with the exiting of every phrase. Performers can choose to go around the score as many times as they wish, either switching or keeping the same color distribution. The performance ends when they choose to stop walking.

 

The Open: The circular score has an open space, which is the space for breathing. In this space, all performers should try to, by touching and hearing, coordinate breathing speeds, as slowly as they wish, until everyone feels confortable in their breathing. This space is the beginning and the end of a round. This is the space of visibility for metakosmia.

 

     III. Conceptual Field

 

'Metakosmia' is an expanded score that operates like a guided improvisation. Among its aims is exploring the ethico-aesthetic potential of the Epicurean idea (lost, in the eyes of science, for centuries until the advent of dark matter). Conceptualized in the molecular scale as the "infinite void" between atoms, Epicurius considered this the abode of the gods. Interestingly, the idea only becomes scientifically viable when regarding the macrocosmic scale (spaces between galaxies). Correspondingly, bodies in movement produce vibrations that operate as their extensions. While mostly imperceptible, sound is a specific vibration that can make our extended molecular bodies perceptible, hence enabling a quite specific space for molecular resonance. This score attempts to activate precisely this molecular scale of metakosmia by enabling performers different points of access to it (in between sight, sound, touch). By expanding their scale of perceptible resonance, performers extend their bodies towards the formation of a collective resonant body. And such expanded space of resonance releases a potential always present in the “infinite void.” The score’s character as guided improvisation presents performers with the challenge of exercising agency in the construction of a space of resonance. Such molecular agency is not about exercising power over a situation but rather of releasing the potential of an encounter. It is then, in Epicurean terms, a creative act not by mimicry of the godlike but by releasing a form of dwelling in the abode of the gods.