Can I just point out here, on The Website, that The Listening Machine is absolutely the most insane amount of work that I've ever actually had to do, ever? It even eclipses that GCSE art coursework debacle of 2002. It's not enough to have to write 6 months of potential music, but it actually has to be, you know, orchestrated quite well - the reasons behind the quality are two fold: one, it's being played by The Britten Sinfonia and they're incredible, and two, it's running for 6 months so it had better sound good for a good long while.
The realisation struck me recently that I'm not actually writing 6 months of music (seriously, could you imagine?), rather, I'm producing 6 months of potential music. This might just sound like I'm being pretentious - and, to some extent, I am - but it has quite profound implications. This piece (this? singular? hmm) doesn't simply start on May 1st and end Oct 31st (it does, but stay with me). It actually starts again and again, and stops again and again - it has so many variables, so many different plots and sub plots, so many tricks and turns... it makes thinking about a structure really, really tricky, and that's usually a really nice place to start one's thoughts in moments of immense deadline endured stress. Instead, I'm dedicating my life, right now, to ternary form and the understanding that pulsing/filtering drones are objectively good in any creative process.
We spent last week at Mute's studio opposite my latest Fave sushi place, and then the next two weeks I'm "only" writing another 3hrs of music. Actually, in the grand scheme of things... that isn't very much, but I've decided the most important thing going forward is to really dominate the dynamics and articulations of the music we do actually record; we're doing some fierce computing to create the generative elements of this piece live, so it occurs that the food we put in it really ought to be varied and tactile. There's a chance that quarter-tone tunings will come into it, and there's mos-def going to be a large amount of sul pont action. Such things sound fabulous with Massed Strings.
There are any number of excitements in the coming months, not least of which is the release (drumroll) of Gabriel's Cello Multitracks on May 28th, but I'll be in touch about all such things in due course.