correction (featuring J. Wriggle)

ensemble flute, clarinet, baritone sax, trombone, violin, and cello
duration ~7:27
listen 06/19/2008 performance (on bandcamp);
2009 recording (on bandcamp)
score PDF, 237KB
performance history Available on is the Future Of Everything, by ASM;
06/19/2008 by ASM at The Pig And Whistle (Whistling Pigs);
02/17/2009 by ASM at the Living Theater (The Glorified Rehearsal)
date completed 06/06/2008
series unblocking
era ASM

background

Durst wrote and re-wrote correction. That’s really about it. There’s a lot of pressure to write these things, so I’m afraid my answer is no; no, you can’t have any program notes. The world will go on just fine knowing nothing at all about this work. Besides, I’m not sure what I would say about a piece that’s mostly retarded a fancified sketch one large vehicle for a Wriggle spotlight so wonderfully crafted, I can hardly believe I wrote it in what felt like an eternity only two hours.

- ASM program notes, 06/19/2008

First, a hat tip to the only people who have ever performed this piece: Andrea La Rose, Peter Hess, Ken Thomson, John Wriggle, Hubert Chen, and Pat Muchmore. Second, there’s a reason for that: this was written for Anti-Social Music veterans, and probably subconsciously those specific people.

“correction” is/was a mess. Raging against writer’s block (and failing), I revised the piece four times before deciding to cannibalize the attempts for the final version. None of the revisions had any traction, which was the central problem. So, much like with “lethologica”, I used its failing as a creative device. The piece is a series of sections—none of them longer than 20 measures—that start and re-start the piece, while gamely overlaying (integrating?) themes from other sections, the last time while a narrator discusses more noteworthy corrections in history. Ultimately, the entire piece stops and cites its own errors. Those errors are then “corrected” in a cataclysmic way: all the attempted themes are played simultaneously (and they absolutely do not go together). Are there actually wrong notes played? Possibly. Who could tell? And who could tell if there’s actually a correction? So goes the joke. Har har har.

correction is a study in revision and refinement, sound placement timeline words describing structure and blah blah blah. Buried in the program. La la la la. I’m tired of Hans Zimmer. correction: is a piece for musical instruments. Critical to its execution is the playing of notes and the non-playing of notes; or the playing of non-notes. But mostly the non-playing of notes. To be fair, he did that wonderful choral version of Spider Pig. correction: so many little black dots. And after six months and a premiere, still found four missing accidentals. [insert final Hans Zimmer comment, though nothing he can do will top Spider Pig, issue apology][end scene]

- ASM program notes, 02/17/2009

I wouldn’t say it’s a great piece. I would say it’s... intentionally silly? deliberately not serious? Something like that. (I remember listening to John record the voiceover in the studio and Peter clapped me on the back, laughing. If it was going for entertainment, it achieved that, even if it was in a very narrow, inside way.)

Round two of the battle against writer’s block. It was in full swing, and I was putting my efforts to defeat it out for public consumption.