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Re: GTM Species Evolution - Corrected

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  • Jonathan
    A few addiyional thoughts on the accelerator whip class of GTM and the evolution of GTM. First of all, I want to reconcile the idea that accelerator whip
    Message 1 of 9 , Jul 1, 2006
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      A few addiyional thoughts on the accelerator whip class of GTM and
      the evolution of GTM.

      First of all, I want to reconcile the idea that accelerator
      whip "introduced freeze frames," with the fact that are similar
      abruptions in earlier species of GTM, especially the "third species"
      featured on the Rastacan discs. On the Rastacan liner notes you can
      see the thick circles (or cloud shapes) drawn around some notes,
      which are a trigger for improvisatory breaks before returning to the
      main melody.

      Listening to Victoriaville 2005 and London 2004, which are the
      original accelerator (pre-whip) class there don't seem to be any
      freeze frames. In fact what is pretty striking about those
      performances is that the main GTM melody falls by the wayside less
      than two minutes into each performance. So the point about
      accelerator whip is that now the freeze frame/abruptions from
      earlier GTM species are re-introduced.

      In addition, the main melody in accelerator whip usually lasts
      longer than in the earlier recorded accelerator performances. The
      initial "statement" of the main melody typically lasted about 5
      minutes in the Iridium performances.

      A big aspect of the Iridium music was the interweaving of GTM
      melodies throughout the whole performance. If you go back to the
      earliest GTM in 1995-96, the 180s or 192 with Lauren Newton, the
      performance doesn't stray very far from the primary GTM melody. But
      with the 1997 Yoshi's sets (and most of what came since then) the
      musicians break away from the GTM melody for the vast majority of
      the performance.

      In the meantime, the book of GTM melodies has expanded
      dramatically. There are probably now more GTM compositions than
      quartet compositions (which was Braxton's purpose from the beginning
      of writing the first GTM-to create a book of music). Part of the
      genius of the Iridium sessions was that GTM music was being played
      throughout the performances in some form or other - not just the
      main melody but snippets from old compositions of all species. The
      GTM melodies serve many functions, melodies, notated walking bass
      lines, etc. (See Steve Smith's remarks on Comp. 353, for example.)
      This created a real rhythmic and melodic richness, and sense of
      structural unity to the hour long set.

      It will be very interesting when both the 2003 Rastacan GTM festival
      (late 3rd species) and the Iridium sets are released to compare the
      performances.

      >
      > Accelerator whip GTM: This starts with comp. 350 (2006). One
      > distinction that makes whip different is the use of "freeze
      frames"
      > which are an extension of the "big dark circles" that Mr. Shiurba
      > mentions. From Mr. Dewar: "In the new 'whip' pieces, there
      > are 'freeze frames,' which are what AB called 'gestures' that can
      be
      > taken by individuals or sub-groups as the rest of the ensemble
      moves
      > ahead with the primary line. These 'frames' are noteheads that
      are
      > present in a tuplet of some kind --- 13:2, 5:2, 17:2, etc. but
      they
      > have shapes surrounding some of the notes -- so, the way we were
      > playing those this past weekend was by dropping out of
      the 'forward
      > movement' of the piece to make a gesture using the notes in this
      > graphic space, then re-joining the ensemble at a later point in
      the
      > piece, or not re-joining and moving onto other materials. In a
      way,
      > they are another version of the 'transfer point' that occurs in
      many
      > other compositions (both GTM and otherwise), but because of the
      > context, they are performed differently."
      >
    • Jonathan
      Another notational difference between the freeze frames and the third species abruptions is that the third species abruptions generally seem to come (based on
      Message 2 of 9 , Jul 1, 2006
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        Another notational difference between the freeze frames and the
        third species abruptions is that the third species abruptions
        generally seem to come (based on the Rastacan liner notes, p 13, 21)
        as a series of several circles/ovals in a row, while the accelerator
        whip freeze frames (as best I recall) came one box at a time.

        --- In Anthony_BRAXTON@yahoogroups.com, "Jonathan" <jbp60606@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > A few additional thoughts on the accelerator whip class of GTM and
        > the evolution of GTM.
        >
        > First of all, I want to reconcile the idea that accelerator
        > whip "introduced freeze frames," with the fact that are similar
        > abruptions in earlier species of GTM, especially the "third
        species"
        > featured on the Rastacan discs. On the Rastacan liner notes you
        can
        > see the thick circles drawn around some notes,
        > which are a trigger for improvisatory breaks before returning to
        the
        > main melody.
        >
        > Listening to Victoriaville 2005 and London 2004, which are the
        > original accelerator (pre-whip) class there don't seem to be any
        > freeze frames. In fact what is pretty striking about those
        > performances is that the main GTM melody falls by the wayside less
        > than two minutes into each performance. So the point about
        > accelerator whip is that now the freeze frame/abruptions from
        > earlier GTM species are re-introduced.
        >
        > In addition, the main melody in accelerator whip usually lasts
        > longer than in the earlier recorded accelerator performances. The
        > initial "statement" of the main melody typically lasted about 5
        > minutes in the Iridium performances.
        >
        > A big aspect of the Iridium music was the interweaving of GTM
        > melodies throughout the whole performance. If you go back to the
        > earliest GTM in 1995-96, the 180s or 192 with Lauren Newton, the
        > performance doesn't stray very far from the primary GTM melody.
        But
        > with the 1997 Yoshi's sets (and most of what came since then) the
        > musicians break away from the GTM melody for the vast majority of
        > the performance.
        >
        > In the meantime, the book of GTM melodies has expanded
        > dramatically. There are probably now more GTM compositions than
        > quartet compositions (which was Braxton's purpose from the
        beginning
        > of writing the first GTM-to create a book of music). Part of the
        > genius of the Iridium sessions was that GTM music was being played
        > throughout the performances in some form or other - not just the
        > main melody but snippets from old compositions of all species.
        The
        > GTM melodies serve many functions, melodies, notated walking bass
        > lines, etc. (See Steve Smith's remarks on Comp. 353, for
        example.)
        > This created a real rhythmic and melodic richness, and sense of
        > structural unity to the hour long set.
        >
        > It will be very interesting when both the 2003 Rastacan GTM
        festival
        > (late 3rd species) and the Iridium sets are released to compare
        the
        > performances.
        >
        > >
        > > Accelerator whip GTM: This starts with comp. 350 (2006). One
        > > distinction that makes whip different is the use of "freeze
        > frames"
        > > which are an extension of the "big dark circles" that Mr.
        Shiurba
        > > mentions. From Mr. Dewar: "In the new 'whip' pieces, there
        > > are 'freeze frames,' which are what AB called 'gestures' that
        can
        > be
        > > taken by individuals or sub-groups as the rest of the ensemble
        > moves
        > > ahead with the primary line. These 'frames' are noteheads that
        > are
        > > present in a tuplet of some kind --- 13:2, 5:2, 17:2, etc. but
        > they
        > > have shapes surrounding some of the notes -- so, the way we were
        > > playing those this past weekend was by dropping out of
        > the 'forward
        > > movement' of the piece to make a gesture using the notes in this
        > > graphic space, then re-joining the ensemble at a later point in
        > the
        > > piece, or not re-joining and moving onto other materials. In a
        > way,
        > > they are another version of the 'transfer point' that occurs in
        > many
        > > other compositions (both GTM and otherwise), but because of the
        > > context, they are performed differently."
        > >
        >
      • Jonathan
        On the evolution from third species to accelerator to accelerator whip, Taylor Ho Bynum had a correction to what I posted a few days ago. In third species
        Message 3 of 9 , Jul 5, 2006
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          On the evolution from third species to accelerator to accelerator
          whip, Taylor Ho Bynum had a correction to what I posted a few days
          ago.

          "In third species gtm, and the first accelerator class pieces that
          the quintet and sextet played (ie London and Victoriaville), there
          are extended notated periods that you could call abruptions, or
          perhaps "suspended time" in the piece. If you listen to Victoriaville
          or London, these are the moments when the primary line stops, and the
          ensemble opens up on cue, and a short period later returns to the
          primary material, it sounds like the ensemble is leaving the GTM
          material, but actually, this is all in the notation. (So it's not
          actually a break down on the recordings, it just means we arrived at
          the first "suspended time" part). One of the changes with the "whip"
          material is that these periods of suspended time are gone, and
          replaced by individual notes within the rhythmic structure of the GTM
          that can be "freeze-framed"."

          Also: "The circles [in third species (e.g., Rastacan 2001) are sort
          of the first manifestation of interruptions to the primary material,
          that ultimately develops into both the suspended time and the freeze-
          frames. A lot of the GTM material very naturally evolves over time,
          so sometimes it's hard to pin down exactly when something becomes
          something else, it is wonderfully organic that way."

          Thanks Taylor!
        • araffodewar
          Hi All, To further expand on what Taylor is talking about, the difference between the suspended time sections of third species GTM (the circles with notes in
          Message 4 of 9 , Jul 5, 2006
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            Hi All,

            To further expand on what Taylor is talking about, the difference between the "suspended
            time" sections of third species GTM (the circles with notes in them), the early accelerator
            GTM (the noteheads without time values surrounded by graphic elements) and the "freeze
            frames" of "accelerator/whip" GTM is that with the first two, the musicians playing the
            material move in and out of the "suspended time" spaces together -- there is a "cue" by
            the "leader" to get out of that space. With the "freeze frames" the primary line would
            continue (because the "freeze frames" are all enclosed in tuplets - e.g. they are in a
            pulsed, rhythmic continuum, unlike the previous examples) and individuals or quadrant
            sections could "drop out" of the forward motion of the line to "freeze" the line in that
            moment, and then rejoin the rest of the group at a later point in the line.

            Also, the "freeze frames" are all different shapes and employed in different ways in each
            "whip" composition from Comp. 351-360 - they aren't as "standardized" as the suspended
            time spaces of the previous GTMs. Each 'whip' piece has its own shape identity that is
            used for the 'freeze frames' (i.e. skinny vertical ovals in 351, parallelograms in 354,
            hexagons in 355, etc...) Comp. 350 doesn't have them at all - it looks more like the
            previous "accelerator" GTM.

            Of course, none of this is dogmatic, and no doubt these things will be continually re-
            interpreted in the future - this is just my experience with the material at this point.

            Best,

            Andrew

            --- In Anthony_BRAXTON@yahoogroups.com, "Jonathan" <jbp60606@...> wrote:
            >
            > On the evolution from third species to accelerator to accelerator
            > whip, Taylor Ho Bynum had a correction to what I posted a few days
            > ago.
            >
            > "In third species gtm, and the first accelerator class pieces that
            > the quintet and sextet played (ie London and Victoriaville), there
            > are extended notated periods that you could call abruptions, or
            > perhaps "suspended time" in the piece. If you listen to Victoriaville
            > or London, these are the moments when the primary line stops, and the
            > ensemble opens up on cue, and a short period later returns to the
            > primary material, it sounds like the ensemble is leaving the GTM
            > material, but actually, this is all in the notation. (So it's not
            > actually a break down on the recordings, it just means we arrived at
            > the first "suspended time" part). One of the changes with the "whip"
            > material is that these periods of suspended time are gone, and
            > replaced by individual notes within the rhythmic structure of the GTM
            > that can be "freeze-framed"."
            >
            > Also: "The circles [in third species (e.g., Rastacan 2001) are sort
            > of the first manifestation of interruptions to the primary material,
            > that ultimately develops into both the suspended time and the freeze-
            > frames. A lot of the GTM material very naturally evolves over time,
            > so sometimes it's hard to pin down exactly when something becomes
            > something else, it is wonderfully organic that way."
            >
            > Thanks Taylor!
            >
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