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As/signment.

The following four text-graphics represent instances taken from an extended compositional dialogue between Kenneth Gaburo and myself; the first two are by Kenneth, the latter two by me. Each work may be thought of as a response on some level, general or specific, conscious or not, to the other's. While they are not necessarily presented here in any particular linear fashion or chronology, the works are nevertheless intrinsically connected in terms of their underlying process. They were motivated, at least in part, by the desire to comprehend/come to know/make sense of/reach an understanding of/compose each other's work, to share a common language; one work represents a deep-level response to another. Moreover, since it is not so easy to separate the maker from the made from the making, they also reveal something of the operation of two people making sense of themselves.

The works, of course, do not speak for themselves (nor for anyone else, for that matter); it is your voice that reads these words here and your eyes which trace the environment of the page. Yet it seems presumptuous and simplistic for me to attempt to analyze or otherwise reduce the connections as I see them; that was the intent of the works in the first place. Instead, I shall suggest a few linking threads and propose a small task.

Here are some of the concerns and techniques I see shared by more than one of the works:

* Graphic analysis of the acoustical properties of a set text;

* Transformational context-free grammars with which to subvert one's own preferences;

* Rigorous exploitation of random processes, including a synchronicity facilitated by a computer virus;

* Phonetic complement as a given universal set, an ecology to which nothing may be added or removed;

* Spatial sense of the page as environment and the inclusion of the act of reading as performance;

* The acknowledgment of the role of one's psycho-physiological state in the process and its presence in the finished work. Physiology of the act of inscription as evidenced by the visible traces, the quality of the pen strokes as unique notations of a particular action;

* Composition as a process of renotation which proceeds from concretion to idea (the reverse of conventional practice). Thus an ordering is inferred from an initial random array, or scatter, and thereby brought from an unknown to a known;

AS/SIGNMENT:

Stare at the following pages and allow connections, structural and otherwise, to reveal themselves. Start a list of these observations. Keep adding to this list (even if one item appears to contradict another: remember this list is Both/And not Either/Or). Add more. Draw connections between related items bringing them into the foreground, embed others. Watch yourself compose.

[M.sup.S] Kenneth Gaburo

On the following page, in the left-hand column, is an extraordinary linguistic text by Richard Howe. The horizontal array at the top of the page shows the conversion of the text alphabet into a phonemic one.

Each phoneme therein, initiates a column, - varying in size -, of members of its own class. This distribution is, of course, derived from the content of each of the left-column words.

From this matrix another text, (one of many), has been formed. The formed text is embedded in the Howe text, so-to-speak. The embedded text is given below.

Of the many inferences which may be drawn from this kind of compositional process, I call the reader's attention to the graphic, per se. The graphic exhibits yet another text; that is, a metaphoric one, (a 'tracing'), of the various pathways participants took as they made their way through Philip Blackburn's work: MINDING STEPS.

But, of course, the pathways are the consequence of my participation in Philip's work, and of having searched for a text to express that experience. And so, I proceeded to make various connections, here and there, through the general distribution of the graphic content, until a 'poetic' text emerged.

Thus, the pathways as such cannot be separated from the embedded text which generated them; nor from my experience, any more than the embedded text and my experience can be separated from their referent: Howe's text.

Along the way, fragments of other possible texts, (at the moment unfulfilled), came through. Although they do not appear here, they also contribute to a kind of larger phenomenal resonance, and somehow attach themselves to that which resides in this quite specific space.

10.16.89

FOR

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Author:Blackburn, Philip
Publication:Perspectives of New Music
Date:Jan 1, 1995
Words:1377
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