Proposal (/prəˈpōzəl/) noun 1. A plan or suggestion,
especially a formal or written one, put forward for consideration or
discussion by others. 2 An offer of marriage.
Ryoko Akama: acceptance
is a collection of three closely related scores—or rather, as Akama terms them, “proposals”—and their corresponding
realizations. The use of this word, “proposal,” is deliberate and crucial.
It makes clear that they are suggestions, put forward for consideration and
exploration, rather than directives to be obeyed. Each is dedicated to a
particular individual, and what each of these performers—Stefan Thut, lo wie, and Johnny
Chang (accompanied by Catherine Lamb)—brings to Akama’s
proposals is as crucial as what she offers them. The scores themselves
occupy an ambiguous middle ground between drawing, poetry, writing, and
instructions. Each utilizes a similar formal vocabulary of shaded boxes,
arrows, numbers, and fragments of text, yet each varies from the others in
subtle ways, and the question of how these elements are to be assembled and
understood is left unresolved. Or, rather, it is left to the imagination
and understanding of each performer. It speaks to Akama’s
faith in her collaborators and her trust in their ability that so much is
left for their elaboration. These evocative pieces are invitations to enter
into a kind of intimacy, a relationship of equals conditioned on mutual
respect. These are proposals in the fullest sense of the word, and it is up
to the musicians who perform them—and those who listen—to refuse or to
This release, presented together in a
wooden veneer envelope, includes an archival CD-R containing realizations
of each piece, one copy of each of the three proposals, and an additional
informational sheet providing credits and track listing.
1. a proposal - one, for Stefan Thut [18:00]
2. a proposal - two, for lo wie [9:01]
3. a proposal - three, for Johnny Chang [18:09]
All compositions by Ryoko Akama
Ryoko Akama is a UK-based composer and performer
whose work, ranging from text compositions to sound installations, pursues minimal,
reductive, cumulative, and contemplative experiences in sonic art practice.
She directs the melange edition label and is
coeditor of the independent publisher mumei.
Johnny Chang is a Berlin-based composer and
performer who engages in extended explorations of
the relationship between sound and listening and the areas of overlap
between improvisation, composition, and performance. He is a member of the Wandelweiser composers collective. He currently
collaborates with Peter Ablinger, d'Incise, Claudia Garbe,
Catherine Lamb, Hannes Lingens, Radu Malfatti, Mike Majkowski, Koen Nutters,
Morten J Olsen, Derek Shirley, Rishin Singh, Taku Sugimoto, Takako Suzuki, Stefan Thut, and Manfred Werder. http://www.johnny-chang.tk.
Stefan Thut is a composer, cellist, and
performer who is interested in processes and
scores being relatively determined but still unpredictable in their sonic results.
In addition to traditional instrumentation, phonography
and everyday materials serve as components in his work. Notably, cardboard
and paper play a role in his latest series, beginning with "two
strings and boxes." His recent scores have been realized at the Kunstraum Düsseldorf, Spanski
Borci Ljubljana, Gez-21 St. Petersburg, and Säulenhalle Landhaus
Solothurn, where he curates a concert series. http://www.timescraper.de/stefan-thut.html.
lo wie is a member of A.Typist,
in which she collaborates with Ryu Hankil, and the writer Kim Taeyong.
She organizes the music composition concert series namsan
in Seoul. http://lo-wie.blogspot.com.
1. Performed by Stefan Thut.
2. Performed by lo wie.
Recorded by Ryu Hankil
3. Section 1: First realization. Version
for one performer. Performed by Johnny Chang
(viola and arrangement). Recorded by Johnny Chang.
Section 2: Second realization. Version for live performance,
two violas, and mono speaker.Performed by Johnny
Chang (viola and arrangement) and Catherine Lamb (viola). Recorded by Adam Asnan.
“Originally influenced by
Sol LeWitt, I began to study the idea of sequences
in shape, color, and direction. Each piece includes additional comments to
support my proposal for the performer to refuse or to accept.”
“The recorded performance
applied architecture and objects of a former mountain farm, precisely three
windows and seven wooden volumes. They provided acoustic filtering of the
water flowing in the valley. While handling the objects, the wood
unexpectedly also amplified the movements of my joints, through the touch
between body and wood. The score enabled me to discover sonic aspects that
otherwise go unheard.”
—Stefan Thut on a
proposal - one
“The instruments are two
big windows in the living room of my old flat, which I moved out of last
week. As I moved the two windows according to your score, they were sliding
from right to left, from left to right. I loved the moments when I could
hear the voices or noise from outside when the windows were open.”
—lo wie on a proposal
Within the paths taken to traverse the landscape of a proposal - three, I discovered possibilities of additional
access points and staging areas of departure.
a question: I wonder if
and how often you encounter this—the struggle to decide between:
(1) staying with an
original concept (or line of enquiry) and realising
a score according to the original intent, or
different version (development?) of the original which seem clearer from a
listener's** point of view—more tangible, so to speak.
the word "listener" means the audience or even myself, having
temporarily stepped outside of the role of composer/performer.
I know what I would end up
deciding for in the end, as I always have done in the past. However, I am
curious to hear of your experiences, so please don't worry that my
"environment of encounter", as you put it, would be somewhat
compromised by what you decide to write (or not decide to write..).
By the way: In fact, my
realisation follows your score somewhat
literally, even if it may not sound so.”
—Johnny Chang on a proposal - three