Third Cast of Burdock Light (Performance / INstallation, September 25th, 2019, studio ma)
A durationless organ composition lasting approximately 2 hours and 45 minutes was presented at Studio Ma in Seattle on an amplified 1930’s Estey reed organ paired with voice, played amongst an installation of rugs, incense, tea, and candlelight. The piece was composed primarily on an 1875 Taylor and Farley reed organ over the course of Joey's time in Seattle, beginning in the winter of 2018, and expanding continuously since then. Over this course of time, he has continued to add parts that allow the composition to expand for a theoretically infinite amount of time.
The work is comprised of two sections.
The prelude, There Was a Time That I Knew You, was composed in a similar style to the primary composition, containing infinitely changing parts. It was presented as a durationless performance in March 2019 at the Annex in Seattle, and lasted somewhere between 1.5 to 2 hours. The prelude was paired with field recordings captured on the Oregon coast while observing a whale migration.
The primary composition, Third Cast of Burdock Light, was performed on a 1930's reed organ for the first time in its early stage while camping in the Mojave Desert, and shortly after for performances in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Bellingham. The first quarter of the piece was recorded in early winter of 2018 in the Hoh Rainforest, and since has been expanded in its entirely, lasting itself approximately 2 hours.
Both sections are comprised of a variety of segments that can be played at anytime, varying in length, and will weave into each other, repeating, contrasting, expanding, inverting on intuition-based changes of a non-linear spectrum.
This piece is intended to be heard only in performance settings at irregular intervals of evolved states every four to eight months, and every eight to ten years.
Additionally, this 3-hour work serves as a prelude to a durationless composition of the same name, Third Cast of Burdock Light, for solo pipe organ.
Levitation Practice in the High Order Modal Stasis of Sama (Ensemble Performance, June 13th, 2019, Studio Ma)
Meditation on impermanence, non-attachment, equanimity, and continuous body of clarity and not-knowing, transient individual dreams of self and selflessness, sonic/physical exploration of zero/no-time void.
An offering to God and the absence of divinity.
Durationless composition for intuition/feeling-based improvisation within a custom modal system.
The piece was performed on June 13th, 2019 at Studio Ma in Seattle at the memorial for Sri Faquir Pandit Pran Nath. The piece was written for two to six voices, viola, tambura, harmonium, and shruti box, and lasted 1.5 hours. Partially composed in just intonation, the inclusion of the harmonium and shruti box adds both fullness to the piece, yet disrupts the pure intervals with that are formed between the harmonics of the tambura, voices, and viola with an equal tempered tuning. This inclusion provides an intentional dissonance to the piece as it utilizes a custom modal scale of endless wandering, similar in many ways to Raga Todi, which includes further intervals such as 10/9, 16/15, 7/5, 8/5, 7/4. The performers were given the notes and a loose structure for the whole piece, but no fixed direction on movements, timing, and dynamics. Some of the performers had little to no musical background or recent musical experience, yet were a part based on their heightened and beautiful intuition and feeling-based ability above all else. The piece was arranged as a linear stack, growing to its peak, then coming to resolve. These intentional choices were incorporated to allow the performers and listeners to have access to drifting into a deep state of divine union and resolve, similar in many ways to the states of Samadhi found through meditation.
This piece serves as the prelude to a larger work, Selected Drift of Dream Stasis.
There Was a Time That I Knew You (Performance/Installation, 2019)
A durationless composition for amplified 1930s Estey reed organ, voice, and field recordings.
The work was composed over the course two winters on an 1875 Taylor and Farley reed organ, incorporating field recordings taken along the Oregon Coast during an orca migration. As a durationless piece, the performance itself could last anywhere from twenty minutes to two hours. Listeners are welcome to sleep or leave quietly as they feel at any point. With this noted, the piece includes intuition-based continuity, and gives special focus to the full equality of all sounds during the work, in contrast to an emphasis given to parts such as a beginning, middle, and end, as there are none for this piece. All parts exist on a non-linear spectrum, and are woven together during the performance based on shifting sensory and psychological excavations. Listeners are encouraged to explore the listening environment in the path of finding one's own personal space of reflection.
The organ was originally used by chaplains during World War II, and is tuned to equal temperament with A=420. The ideal tuning of the organ will be in just intonation, using whole number ratios to tune the reeds to a custom scale that reflects the composition, which would allow the overtone series to fully resonate, and for the voice and organ to be in a pure harmonic relationship. However, due to its age and fragility, a newer organ will be used for retuning in future manifestations of the work.
Many of the words in the song come from personal poetry, and from words passed down through Kirana lineage from the raga compositions of Pandit Pran Nath.
This piece is intended to be heard only in performance settings at irregular intervals of evolved states every two to four years, and every eight to ten years. No plans for a recording exist.
Written over the course of the same span of time, it serves loosely as the prelude to a longer, overarching composition, Third Cast of Burdock Light.
Ten Cymbals for the Clear Light of Voidness (Performance, 2019)
For ten amplified brass cymbals in pairs.
Sonic resonances of ten earth discs for subtle fluctuations in corporeal physicality, recognitions of Earth/soil/breath impermanence, and eternal vibration wavelength capacity accompany candlelight in collective remembrance of the faint light of pure suspension in infinite nothingness.
This work is an evolutionary piece, stemming from a 2017 composition, Arrival on the Bardo Plane. The work has since expanded, growing out of performances and recordings of cymbal pairings at varying natural sites across Washington State, including the Big Four Ice Caves, Falls Creek Cave, and Second Beach. Two of the pairings were used in a previous durationless performance piece, An Offering, which was performed collectively by ten artists underneath the Seattle Viaduct as part of Signe Ferguson's Procession of Ten, and is currently being reworked for a site-specific performance in June. Additionally, the piece is a derivative continuation of There Was a Time That I Knew You, incorporating the Oregon Coast orca migration field recordings. The intention of this arises out of the use of natural forces as an infinitary drone, as opposed to electronic sine waves or synthesis, to maintain the continuation of the work in both memory and through other pieces while the intermediary period of time passes.
The pairings have all been explored in conjunction with long-duration, context-based recording practice, leading to particular pairings of cymbal oscillations naturally triggering temperature, memory, and other sensory-based remembrances for the performer(s) of these locations. The piece explores returning to these locations through sonic memory alone, and the form of fully-immersive, sensory experience that can only be conveyed through utilizing decaying metallic wavelengths at enhanced volumes to fill open spaces of the room and of our bodies to their full capacities.
Earth Drones (Recording, Apophyllite, 2018)
With meditations in structure, sound transference through the body, spatial influence on compositional development, and field recording improvisation, Earth Drones is Largent's initial exploration of durational performance, excavation into layers of consciousness, and void exploration through experiments with context-based recording and sound density. Recorded across three states that possess generational memory and connection, each piece explores a different aspect of the primordial relationship of the mind to the body, the vessel that is the body, and the connection between the vessel and its natural surroundings. Combined with this, the work explores the manipulation of sonic frequencies in order to heighten the listening environment for reflective explorations of time, memory, and depths of psychological reverberations.
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