Louise Devenish will premiere a new work of mine for solo percussion Dinner For One at her DMA Recital on the 5th of December at the UWA School of Music. The concert includes a collection of pieces from other Australian artists including Graeme Leak, Anthony Pateras, Lachlan Skipworth, and Nigel Westlake.
Usually around about the time I reach a third draft of a work I have to throw it away and start completely fresh. Some might consider this to be disheartening but for me it’s usually a byproduct of some breakthrough which means that the piece finally has some direction and purpose. Dinner For One started with a simple exchange of ideas. Louise would take a draft and provide feedback to me as to what she thought did and didn’t work, while provided ideas of her own - a process made difficult through the filter of skype conversations and email. These multiple influences sat uneasily for a few drafts until I finally realised that I needed to get out of the piece’s way, and create a musical space for Louise to respond to the work in the performance itself.
There are two kinds of material in Dinner For One, notated material and instructional improvisation. In these later sections the performer must respond to the material they have just played in different ways. As the piece progresses the amount of time devoted to notated material diminishes inversely to the amount of the time the performer spends responding. The notated material becomes a focus point for the performers interpretation, a piece of history fixed at a moment in time amongst an otherwise permeable performance inevitably rooted in the now. A ghost at a table with one chair.