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things to do

posted on 2018-12-19, 15:51 authored by James SaundersJames Saunders
things to do comprises 13 related compositions which have been performed over 40 times in 13 different countries. The pieces use a new verbal cueing system for ensembles with spoken instructions initiating actions by players. It proposes a model of composition that focuses on the behaviour of individuals in a group as a basis for organising sounds and actions. Each composition differs through the distribution of cue-givers and respondents, exploring different power structures within the group of participants, who must negotiate the constraints provided by the environment. The cueing system makes the interaction of the players explicit for participants and audiences, emphasising and exploring the role of group behaviours and individual decision-making as a basis for composition. Selected pieces in the series also engage the creative agency of audiences by asking them to give cues, influencing the resulting music. The research underpinning the composition translates theory from heuristics, game studies, group behaviours, and participatory art to music, to create frameworks for new modes of practice.

The decision making in these pieces is discussed in: Saunders, J. 2015. “Heuristic Models for Decision Making in Rule-Based Compositions.” In Ninth Triennial Conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences of Music, 715–19. RNCM: ESCOM.

The game behaviours used in these pieces are explained in: Saunders, J. 2017. “Rules and decision-making in game compositions.” Ludo2017 Conference, Bath Spa University, 20.04.17; and Saunders J. 2017. “What’s the point? Balancing purpose and play in game compositions.” Performing Indeterminacy Conference, University of Leeds, 01.07.17.

The role of group behaviours is explained in: Saunders, J. 2018. “Notating group behaviours”. Material Cultures of Music Notation, Utrecht University, 22.04.18.

The development of audience participation is examined in: Saunders, J. 2018. “Group behaviours as music”. Sound and Participation, Kask, Gent, 26.02.18.


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