For the GVJCI Carnival yesterday I prepared a (really) rough new piece, arranging some of the choreography ideas I’ve been working on recently. It’s my first attempt at using a looping pedal and I haven’t completed the end section so there’s still much work to be done. Although I don’t much like the piece yet, I’m glad to have that terrifying first performance out of the way. “Release early, release often,” as they say.
I’m embarrassed that two weeks of work have only resulted in these simple movements but it’s fun to be a beginning choreographer. I frequently have eye-opening realizations… head-smackingly obvious and useful revelations like, “wow, dynamics help!”
Divide and Cronkite initial thoughts
Dangers: 1) looping is often cheesy… masturbatory. 2) I’m not yet good enough technically to make the recorded bits sound great and feel empowering, rather than oppressive. Continued work: finished loop needs to be more groovy, could incorporate audience or other live elements, voice.
- Single-arm movements with changing body positions
I think there’s potential for making motions clear through the use of a single arm.
- Dual-independent arm movements
After four attempts, I found independent right and left arm phrases that were still distinct when combined.
- “Constrained” vs “priority” movement
A few days ago I started thinking about a distinction between movements that use only the time available between regular hits (constrained movements) and movements that take more time and demand space in the drummed patterns (priority movements). There are also movements between these two extremes (loosely-constrained movements) which continue the regular rhythm but adjust sticking so that one hand covers the rhythm so the other is free to accomplish longer movements. The piece currently utilizes only constrained and loosely-constrained movements but I found a few compelling priority movements and imagine them at the conclusion of the piece, as though the movements have finally achieved primacy.