MAT MARTIN | Graphic Score – Cairn

2008 | Scores

For quartet of any instruments
For Pete Wareham & The Final Terror

Premiere: The Final Terror
Commissioned by London Jazz Festival and SPNM
Recording: The Final Terror

This piece is performed in a series of movements, each the result of layering the five sheets over each other in different permutations (see below). The graphics of the score may be interpreted as desired, with the following suggestions in mind.

Events themselves are to be read chronologically (from top of page to bottom), their duration, compass and complexity being suggested by size, density and construction. Size is also to be considered as an indication of dynamic (either large = loud or large = soft, but consistent throughout all the pieces). The internal makeup of some of the larger events may suggest internal movement or harmonic colour.

As the sheets are overlaid the events on the top layer will be altered, obscured and made more complex by the forms behind them. These should be taken into account when interpreting the form on the uppermost sheet. Each player plays from a different combination of the same sheets at any one time. A blank white sheet is provided and should be placed behind the five transparencies.

Duration of the piece is to be decided in advance – it is arrived at by setting the duration of the first movement. The duration of the subsequent movements is then dictated by their relationship to that of the first according to the performance table below (e.g. mvmt 1 = 1ʼ30” ; mvmt 2 = [mvmt 1 + 1⁄2] = 2ʼ15”).

A ʻconductorʼ or principal player in the quartet should be appointed to begin and end movements in keeping with the durations set, and to cue the start of each new event within the movements (these may but are not required to be separated by silence in performance). The events, being composed of exactly the same elements as each other, should be more or less equal in length within each movement.

The movements may be performed in any order, and are separated in performance by the act of shuffling the sheets into the next configurations. Five movements are given below, but in performance situations where a shorter piece is required it is possible to perform any three or four of the five in any order. The first movement must be included in order to define the durations of the others. The overall duration of the performance may also be dictated by setting the duration of movement 1 to a sufficiently short time. This will result in a piece with more rapid movement and energy.