A few thoughts on performing Catherine Lamb’s matter/moving

4/8/2016 | read

Catherine Lamb’s trio matter/moving consists entirely of natural harmonics on a retuned contrabass, soft electronic tones that echo and color the sound of the bass, and an improvised trombone part, often barely audible through the texture. There is no metered time, but only breathing in tandem as each phrase builds and then recedes into silence. There is no theme, or modulation, or motive, but instead there is a sound, a working-out of the possibilities of that sound, a continual shift in the center of gravity. (Video excerpt after the jump.)

Within the prescribed motions for the electronics and contrabass, there is a third element in the trombone—what composer/performer Nate Wooley aptly calls a “free agent”—that moves each performance in a different direction. There is always the necessity of exploration, and of listening, and nothing about the performance can be hard-coded.

This was one of the very first pieces Indexical presented (well before we came up with the name Indexical), in 2011, at Willow Place Auditorium in Brooklyn, by Tucker Dulin, Andrew Lafkas, and Bryan Eubanks. Memories of that performance, and of watching Cat work with these musicians over the course of a week, have been essential to our preparation. Thanks to Cat and Bryan for their advice on preparing this work. (Andrew C. Smith)

Friday, March 11, 7 p.m. at Radius Gallery | 1050 River St. #127, Santa Cruz