Conversational Geometry

for amplified acoustic guitar, tenor trombone and piano

Marc Yeats

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for amplified acoustic guitar, tenor trombone and piano

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Composer Marc Yeats
Year of Composition 2009
Duration ca.14'


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Categories (all composers) ,
Catalogue ID ce-my1cg1


Dedicated to Dirk Amrein.

Swiss Brazil Connection | Premiere performance of Conversational Geometry with Dirk Amrein, Posaune, Maurizio Grandinetti, Gitarrre, Jürg Henneberger, Klavier | Recorded by DRS2 Swiss Radio | Aufnahme Gare du Nord Basel, 17. Dezember 2010.

As the title suggests, conversational Geometry is a conversation between three voices; guitar, trombone and piano. This conversation is sometimes delicate and at other times robust and confrontational presenting complex musical layers in constantly changing relationships. The piece is formed by bringing together the music from three other pieces of mine and ‘mashing’ them together. This process is not as arbitrary as it may sound; all the material brought together comes from pieces that stem originally from the same material, so the links are deeply embedded within them. These links become apparent after listening to the music several times as its complex interweaving of lines can (purposely) obscure these relationships rather like several people talking about the same topic at once but not actually talking to each other.

As explained in previous interviews:

“New works are also originated by recycling existing pieces of music through changing contexts and relationships, transforming this material into something quite new. Many of the acoustic pieces I write find their starting point from within other pieces of music I’ve already written.

I am fascinated by how altered contexts can radically redefine the way musical material feels and sounds. Transplanting different layers, voices or strands of music from one piece to another, altering tempi and dynamics, transposing, inverting, and then letting those strands sound out together; all of these methods fascinate me.

Like the music, my paintings are often produced in series, each painting is influenced by the former. Sometimes I will paint two or three pictures at the same time, each sharing the same starting point, layers and processes until something happens to make me want to separate them and explore them in different ways. In music, the recycling of material ensures that there is a ‘genetic’ connection between all the works – sometimes up to 15 individual pieces may be connected in this way. They are like sons and daughters, cousins, five times removed. With this ‘genetic’ material comes history, characteristics and content. In music, as with people, the way this genetic material is ‘lived out’ determines the character and make-up of the person or piece. This can lead to very individual outcomes.”