Craig Douglas Dworkin

Taking "Taking Chances"

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Taking "Taking Chances" is the translation of a paragraph from the eponymous essay by the composer Christian Wolff:

The first one of us, however, who really went in for indeterminacy in performance was Feldman with those pieces written on graph paper where the range of the instrument is divided into high, middle, and low, and the performer can pick any note from the specified register. Feldman has dropped indeterminacy nowadays, and he must always have looked at it very differently from Cage. I think this interest had to do with his interest in painting. [Cues: Writings and Conversations (Köln: MusikTexte, 1998): 66-68]

Each letter of the source text was translated either into its note name equivalent (for the first seven letters) or a quarter-note rest (for any other letter). Duration and articulation were determined by where the letter came in a word and where the word came in a sentence; the essay's punctuation determined accidentals. Dynamics are left to the performer.

The line for the bass clef was created from the second half of the essay in a similar manner, but taking the spatial distribution of letters as the basis for the score.

A portion of the score was published in Chain 10: Translucination (2003).