Toop, David; Hendrickse, Jan; City University Experimental Ensemble
Boundaries, the second release from the label Multimodal, sees artists Jan Hendrikse and David Toop interpret Mieko Shiomi’s Boundary Music. This text score from 1963 states: “Make the faintest possible sound to a boundary condition whether the sound is given birth to as a sound or not. At the performance, instruments, human bodies, electronic apparatus or anything else may be used.” Side two features two works by saxophonist, composer and bandleader Cath Roberts, Off-World and March of the Egos, interpreted by CUEE (City University Experimental Ensemble). The latter was a new commission for the 25-piece ensemble, who perform both live, recorded at London’s experimental music hub IKLECTIK. David Toop says about interpreting Boundary Music: "I’ve worked on Mieko Shiomi’s Boundary Music over a long period of time and in a variety of contexts: commissioning musicians to record new versions of the piece for the Playing John Cage exhibition I curated at Arnolfini Bristol (2005-6) and exploring it with students from London College of Communication in both workshops and public performances (Tate Modern, 2010, Whitechapel Gallery, 2015). Two things seem obvious at the first moment of reading the score: that it’s simple and about silence. Very quickly, both of those hasty assumptions become uncertain. More accurately, it’s a deep and complex piece about thresholds, the divisions between phenomena and their shifting, vibrating ambiguity, the movement between one state or set of conditions and another. For example, the ‘faintest possible sound’ may not be faint at all or it may be so faint that it only exists as a thought. In the context of so-called music a boundary condition may belong to history, genre, technologies, the notion of a physical ‘instrument’ and its apparent edges or functions. In this performance my questions were concentrated in a field of personal boundaries. How close could I come to those boundaries and give birth to that sound?"