The Water's Fine
For Kingma system flute and live electronics
Working with José on this piece has required both of us to develop some strong techniques. In the shakuhachi recordings by Kiku there were these incredible high register notes that created a lot of 'sound' and strange high-partial multiphonics. This sound became the basis of José's piece for flute and Max patch.
To re-create these shakuhachi sounds I knew I would predominately have to work with overblown low fundamentals to get the rich partial sound, however simply overblowing a low note created a sound that is too familiar and expected and didn't match the complexity of the shakuhachi. I realised that opening small holes above a low note fingering disrupted the partials in that fingering away from the expected harmonic series- and with that this piece was born. Both performer and max patch create a series of multiphonics that build interact with one another.
Of course, being creative has been particularly difficult as of late due to the effects of COVID-19 and José has brilliantly used this creative black hole as inspiration for this subtle but fiendish work.
On The Water's Fine José has this to say:
"Like many others, I found myself deeply affected by American comedian Bo Burnham’s lockdown creation INSIDE. Burnham’s brutally honest depiction of the dark places he found himself into during this challenging time allowed me to revisit the feelings and memories of my lockdown experience. I found myself facing emotional baggage I thought I had already left behind, and reliving the moments of boredom, sadness, pessimism and anxiety.
This was not an easy process, but it brought some healing and helped me regain the creative impulse I had been missing for a while. Like Bo Burnham, though probably in some different degree, I have also experienced the warmth and comfort that sadness can offer during our darkest times. I believe that finding a way of expressing this through his art helped Bo Burnham find a better place, and I aim to do the same with this piece. After months of creative block, unable to make sense of the wonderful shakuhachi-inspired sounds harvested with Gavin, I found direction and purpose.
In short, this piece is my attempt to trace a few steps of this journey. There is still a long way to cover, but each step gets a bit easier. "