Wednesday, 26 August 2009

Joseph Clayton Mills

Performed 26 August 2009 from approx. 12:30 pm through 1:30 pm at the Osaka Japanese Garden on Wooded Island in Chicago’s Jackson Park.

The Osaka Garden is an oasis of relative quiet in the midst of an otherwise very noisy urban environment; the small waterfall near the teahouse dominates the soundscape, but other less bucolic sounds intermittently intrude—traffic, airplanes passing overhead, the nearby commuter train, and the voices or footfalls of other visitors to the garden. This particular day was unseasonably cold, windy, and overcast, with the result that I largely had the garden to myself for the duration of the performance; the weather seemed to suffuse the park with a lonely and somewhat melancholic atmosphere.

Having spent some time considering the score—and closely considering the Rexroth text, in particular—it seemed appropriate to me, on several levels, to perform this piece using one of my late grandmother’s hearing aids. When clasped in my palm, the hearing aid produced quiet, gently modulated feedback; on opening my hand, the feedback ceased. I spent approximately 1 hour sitting, listening, and occasionally responding to the surrounding space or the course of my own thoughts by closing and opening my hand.

Only - Joseph Clayton Mills (09:15) Loseless

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