Performing the ecstasis: An interpretation of Katharine Norman’s Making Place for instrument/s and electronics
Katharine Normans’ work Making Place for instrument/s with live electronics (2013/16) combines recorded sounds, images, text, live interactive processing and instrumental music performance to create a unique experience of place. As the performer, I can choose a location, collect photographic images and recorded sounds, and interpret and re-create the score. The score is semi-improvisatory, consisting of many composed and freely pitched musical gestures which trigger text, visual animations and sound processing. This exposition traces the re-conceptualization, adaptation and performance of Making Place for alto flute. A multi-layered experimental methodology evolved that encompassed practice, discussion, description and reflection, with the performance itself forming the pivotal event, the epoché. To begin I share pre-performance thoughts – ideas of re-conceptualization and the construction of method. I follow with an account of pre-performance activities – the walk, collecting materials, transposing the music for alto flute, inserting new artefacts into the software, and rehearsals. Next come descriptions of the performance, and finally, I offer a reflective conclusion to the project. This project illuminated the quotidian through sound, image and text, transforming the everydayness of a walk along a disused railway track, turned walking/cycling track, in Victoria, Australia, into an extraordinary musical work, creating a shift from a knowing about to a knowing from within, from playing and doing to reflective awareness.