Reviewer 1’s Comments
A beautifully polished performance. I really liked this work a lot as it sort of sits in my personal aesthetic wheelhouse. Conceptually and in relation to the symposium theme, this work seems to beg a number of questions. For example: how was the AI text generated and what was the criteria of the ‘dataset determined by the composer’? What was the goal of the AI text in meaning-making? What is the machine the percussionist is playing? Does it have something do to with the text AI text generation? I imagined it did as some theatricalization of a ‘computer’ or a steampunk Journey to the Center of the Earth kind of apparatus. There is a pre-recorded or recorded live/manipulated/playback amplified voice track as well as the live mezzo— is the structure of the text of this amplified voice related to the AI? The piece itself is beautiful and the concept interesting but the concept was not evident in the performance / composition— without considerable explanation.
I’m afraid my question for you is quite a thorny old one for contemporary composers: how important is it for you that an audience can hear the structure or conceptual framework that framed your intent? Obviously this was a question that emerged more broadly and publicly at the start of the 20th century with techniques such as serialism where the invention of a new top down approach made it impossible to discern the structuring principles without an explanation or a score, but it is also true of most people’s (perhaps all?) inability to hear complex formal structures without the schematic, graphic aid of notation. How should we be listening to your piece?