We hope you'll join us tonight at 9pm ET for our next collaborative concert with Zen Duo. In the meantime, read on to learn about MCI composer Eddie Jonathan Garcia Borbon's piece "Math.Random(ZenDuo)," one of 5 works that will be premiered.
Describe your inspiration for composing the piece.
Math.Random(ZenDuo) was born from the interest in exploring different forms of notation using technology and the Internet. This work is strongly inspired by the work of John Cage, specifically the work Music of Changes, and works that make use of modular graphic scores such as Bird Gong Game. Taking advantage of the possibilities offered by technology, connectivity and the digital world, I intend, then, to unite the pseudo-hazardous nature of the random function with graphic score modules that suggest musical and sound gestures to the performer.
What is the overall conception for the piece (for example, is it programmatic or abstract? Is there a specific formal structure, color, or musical device you employed?)
It is an abstract work, structured in 3 great moments where the rhythmic density increases from a smooth texture to a granulated texture. The support of the "score" was developed in HTML and uploaded to an internet domain, which anyone can consult by accessing the link.
[[To view the "scores" Borbon is referring to, please visit here and here.]]
What are some of the goals you strove to accomplish in writing the work?
The objective was to program a dynamic and changing score that would show some modules which suggest some musical gestures to the performer. These modules were created, debugged and selected by me before the development of the dynamic score in HTML.
What are some of the challenges you faced in writing the work?
The biggest challenge I have faced when creating the work is to have it played. The ensembles, musicians, and performers are not used to these ideas (is it surprising?), but in the 21st century, in the middle of a pandemic where everything is virtual now, many are afraid or not comfortable facing something slightly different. Although I know that it is not the most revealing work, it is really something very simple.
For you, as a composer, what has been the most beneficial and rewarding part of your collaborative process with Zen Duo?
Belonging to MCI, and being able to collaborate with this excellent Zen Duo ensemble, contributes to my career as a composer to a great extent. I am very grateful to MCI and Zen Duo for allowing my ideas to sound and become tangible. It is highly rewarding and I am very pleased about this.