The Whole Instrument Shakes

Entitled "THE WHOLE INSTRUMENT SHAKES", this piece proposed a serial structure consisting of varying attempts at a singular dance, iterations that, when seen together, create a multifaceted and prismatic whole. It concerned itself with the marimba instrument--an instrument which has possessed and taken hold of me for nearly a year as I attempt to absorb and refract the energetics of the marimba in my dance work. I ask--What does it mean that the marimba is both a percussive instrument and also a tonal instrument? Each note both propels a rhythm
and also expresses an aural texture—it moves and expresses at the same time. The tones voiced by it cannot overlap, they stand on their own, giving the listener a feeling of discrete tones, a buoyancy, a clarity of intention, and because of that, a unique capacity for complexity. The very simple stomping movement that forms the basis of the entire piece allows the rhythm of the feet to be heard clearly and allows us to move in very
clear directions and angles. The ensuing phrases, structures, and ornaments that have
emerged from this simple step delight me in their simplicity but surprise me in the complex way they have begun to come together as simultaneous rhythms and more intricate pathways overlap, multiply, and amplify each other. This creates a dense visual field where layered structures emerge and disappear in tide-like surges--a dynamic ebbing and flowing of density giving way to sparsity forming the spine of the work.

Center for Performance Research: Spring Movement, April 12, 2018
Film: Final Cut, Carlos Cardona
Music: Selections from Moondog's "Elpmas"
Performance: Anna Witenberg, Miriam Gabriel, Heidi Morgan, Rachel Gill