waiting / attente
opening and stillness 12:24
rocking and coda 4:06
total duration 24 mins 26secs
"Tumult of anxiety provoked by waiting for the loved being, subject to trivial delays (rendezvous, letters, telephone calls, returns)."
waiting was commissioned by Danceworks for the choreographer Sandra Parker's piece waiting presented in the Dancework's season DW'98, July 1998.
The process for creating waiting commenced with initial exchanges of sound and movement ideas between the composer and choreographer, after which much of the composition and choreography were created in parallel over a four week period. The work is broadly based around the entry for "waiting" from A Lover's discourse by Roland Bathes. Central to the selection, transformation and composition of sounds for this work, was that at one level, choreography is a distribution of energy in space, and music is a distribution of energy in time.
The opening movement traces a path from frenetic motions to a state of outer calm:
"I discern and indicate the other's delay; this delay is as yet only a mathematical computable entity (I look at my watch several times); ....I decide to take it badly, I release the anxiety of waiting."
"Waiting is an enchantment: I have received orders not to move."
It would be possible to make parallels between the chaotic states of timbre, revealed through time expanding small scraps of sound – eg 3 seconds expanded up to 90 seconds – and the unveiling subconscious motivations revealed by psychological analysis. The long second section of the first movement, was created from hydrophonic recordings that supported an introspective sequence of movements.
The second movement of waiting traces a constant envelope; a long slow increase in tension and brief dissipation. Across this, the five dancers built a contrapuntal mosaic of small rocking motions and explosive spinning gestures. The sonic textures and gestures of this movement supported these motions, although in performance there was no precisely predetermined cues for the dancers from the music. Each performance contained distinct moments of synchronicity.
This movement opens with scraps of sound, quickly invaded by more dynamic sonic objects. These sounds wed themselves together in various ways to evoke a sense of inevitable motion. The two outer movements of waiting, also intimate particular emotive states, such as the stillness of chaos where an outer calm conceals an inner turbulence.
"The being I am waiting for is not real."
All quotes from the entry for "waiting/attente" from A Lovers Discourse, Roland Bathes.All quotes from the entry for "waiting/attente" from A Lovers Discourse, Roland Bathes.
Lawrence Harvey ©, 1999.
Source material created with:
UPIC syste (Unitè Polyagogique Informatique de CEMAMu)
AKAI S1000 under control from a suite of MAX patches created by the composer
Sound transformations created with;
Final compilation and mixing;
Pro-Tools 4 and various TDM plug-ins