The Hear And Now


The Hear And Now


The Hear and Now is composed for improvisers and draws on a method of group improvisation developed by Rova called Radar. It was commissioned for the 2004 Other Minds Festival. Radar is a form of structured improvisation and composition in real time. What really differentiates the Radar series from most structured improvisation is that the cues, parameters, hand signals, and “rules” are predetermined- but the performers create the structure itself. The flow of sonic materials and content is decided in real time.

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The Hear and Now adds additional material such as the 5 Chinese pitch sets Zhi, Shang, Yu, Jue and Gongwhich are used as a Radar improv and the basis for composed solos for the musicians to use as they choose through out the work. I've also incorporated a graphic section inspired by Wassily Kandisky's Point and Line to Plane. Much of his graphic language was drawn from music and I wanted to return the favor and use the ideas to create music. 

Other parts of the work are: O/R drawn from concepts by Pauline Oliveras and Gino Robair, The Note and Chord Game, Drum and Sax, 15 Radar cues and 9 other cues that alter the material that a performer is playing.

The conductor plays the roll of shaping the music by deciding to bring performers in or our and what material to play by the use of cue cards.  Performers are free to cue other performers as well.

The title is a bit of word play on a diagram called The Here and Now developed by the physicist Herman Minkowski to show his ideas on the idea of a space-time continuum.  This was later used by Albert Einstein for his Theory of Relativity.  

“Goal of Theory and the goal of a theoretic investigation is

  1. to find the living,
  2. to make its pulsation perceptible, and
  3. to determine wherein the living conforms to law.” 

– Wassily Kandinsky

"Henceforth, space by itself, and time by itself, are doomed to fade away into mere shadows, and only a kind of union of the two will preserve an independent reality."

– Herman Minkowski


Bruce Ackely (Soprano/Tenor sax, Clarinet, Steve Adams (Sopranino/Alto Sax, Flute) Jiebing Chen (Erhu, Voice), Shoko Hikage (Koto), Kyaw Kyaw Niang (pat Waing), Larry Ochs (Tenor/Sopranino Sax), Sang Won Park (Kayagam, Ajaeng), Jon Raskin (Baritone/Alto/Sopranino Sax) Gino Robair (Conductor) Jim Santi Owens (Tabla Tarong, Mridaqam, Percussion, Mon Xiao-Fen (Pipa)