Stefano Gervasoni “Sviete Tihi – Capriccio dopo la Fantasia”

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Packed, staccato, and hard.

That’s Gervasoni’s piece, with the four instrumentalists (Ellen Hwangbo, Seth Knopp, pianos; Eduardo Leandro, Sam Um, percussion) drowning in a sea of percussion instruments.

The rehearsal takes place in the assembly room at Yellow Barn. The musicians have trouble seeing one another, not to mention listening to one another while executing technical challenges that include plucking at strings of a prepared piano after playing notes at both the highest and lowest registers: gymnastics.

It’s a difficult piece to assemble, so they break it down into parts, tape the passages together, identify the cues, and then string it all into sequence. This brick-by-brick approach to building the thing is what I aim to capture in my drawing, as I too try to pull cohesive patterns out from seemingly random marks on the page.

(A note on my drawing reproductions, in case anyone is noticing and wondering: in real life, all the paper is from the same sketchbook; the same off-white color. The paper color in the blog so radically changes from drawing to drawing quite simply because I am not a photographer: each drawing I photograph I then “play with” to try to get the right feel. Obviously, as I take the photos under different light and since (as I say) I’m not a photographer, there is a great deal of range in resulting tone. Hopefully, not a misleading one in terms of what the actual drawings feel like to behold.)

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