Cellist Gage Ehmann, composer Daniel Ehrlich, choreographer Harriet Macauley, and dancers Joel O'Donoghue and PJ Hurst have formed a collaborative team to harness the dualities inherent in Ligeti's Solo Cello Sonata. When I first studied the Solo Sonata, these dualities gradually revealed themselves, prompting me to amplify their effects through bodies in motion. To facilitate communication with a choreographer, I painted images that I believe represent my understanding of the music. These images reminded Dan of his compositional process, inspiring him to write a new piece for Solo Cello. Together we seek to reveal those dualities of line, both by meeting musical line with the physical line of movement, and also by reinterpreting the geometric lines that constitute the graphic representation of the music through the musical lines of fresh composition.
The culminating performance event will reflect the project process, which in turn has developed - consciously and not - according to the dualities in the Sonata mentioned above. The event will constitute three parts, the first an 'input' of stimulation: the Solo Sonata choreographed for two male dancers and cello. Following this performance, a panel discussion with musician, choreographer, and composer will focus on the central component of the creative process: the graphic score of the Solo Sonata, created by the musician to provide an interpretative 'common denominator' for musician and choreographer. The practical and aesthetic motivations behind the creation the score, the main factors involved in its interpretation that directly influence the joining of music with dance, and its recycled use as the basis for new perspectives expressed in a freshly-composed piece for Solo Cello: these points will drive discussion. Finally, the premier of the commission for Solo Cello will form the third 'output' function of the project. The performance event aspires to raise more questions than it answers. Many of these questions will be further explored in the project website. The network of threads generated by the project will include: a closer look at the decisions involved in creation of the graphic score; a discussion of the relationships derived from various pairings of musical figures, and how these relationships are embodied by the collaborative process itself; an overview of the methods of collaboration as observed in choreography workshops; a consideration of synaesthesia in illuminating connections between the auditory and visual. Finally, an interactive graphic score using a zoomable panorama of the score will integrate selected images with project-generated media (specific technical gestures at the cello, workshop and performance clips, and links to pertinent contextual information).
Risks and challenges
I intend to present the choreographed Ligeti Solo Cello Sonata at a professional level. Having just begun my collaborative career, I need financial assistance so that I can secure professional dancers for the crucial rehearsal process - a period of intensive workshops over the course of almost two months - that will culminate in the final performance. Your help will ensure that the experience we share in productive rehearsal benefits the future collaborations to which we will dedicate ourselves.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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