12 July 2018. For ITINERANT INTERLUDE #22, double bassist Adam Goodwin and dancer Michiyasu Furutani performed a series of solos and duos inspired by and reacting to the spatial infrastructure of the former bear pit, its former inhabitants, and the site-specific installations that comprise the exhibition GRABENBLICKE. Staged at a unique new site, contemporary music for double bass intersected with Butoh-influenced dance, with each musical composition an investigation into the nature of sound itself.
James Tenney’s “Beast” (1971) is part of “The Postal Pieces” series, short scores that the composer wrote on the back of postcards and sent to his musician friends. “Beast” – and a more apt title could perhaps not be found for the evening’s performance at the former bear pit – was dedicated to legendary bassist Buell Neidlinger. The work focuses on the beats – or interference sounds – created by the combination of two sounds of slightly different frequencies – here, the 2 lowest strings on the bass, one of which has been de-tuned.
Giacinto Scelsi’s “Maknongan” (1986) reflects the Italian composer’s ongoing fascination with the elemental sound of one note. Deeply influenced by Eastern spirituality, and rejecting notions of composition and authorship in favor of improvisation, the reclusive composer’s most noted works were all – whether for solo or orchestra – an investigation of the sonorities in and around a single pitch.
In “Sabbath of the Goat” (2017), Adam Goodwin explores the natural overtones which arise from the double bass through the subtle manipulation of a sustained open string, using the fingers of the left hand combined with bow speed, placement and weight to alter the harmonics and overtones.
In a closing improvisational duet, Goodwin and Furutani explored themes of the gaze, the architectural assignments of subject and object, and the possibility of overcoming the borders, fences, hedges, and trenches that separate us.
GRABENBLICKE was curated by Sebastian Häger and Julia Heunemann. Works by Katharina Bévand, Alex Lebus, Lawrence Power, and Marten Schech.
Double bass player and composer Adam Goodwin’s musical output encompasses a wide variety of genres, approaches and techniques – from doom metal to free improvisation, from contemporary scores to traditional Turkish, Greek and Arabic music. He performs internationally as soloist and as a member of numerous ensembles, with ongoing collaborations involving projects including Elmer Kussiac, Purgis, Reverse Mode, Nawa Ensemble, the Murmur Collective, the Berlin Soundpainting Orchestra and Orture.
Born in Osaka, Japan, Michiyasu Furutani is a performer and dancer whose work and expression grow from Butoh technique and practice. In a process of continual research, he has developed his vocabulary of movement to encompass contact improvisation and a variety of modern and classical techniques. Furutani collaborates frequently with theater directors, filmmakers, dancers, actors, and musicians, and has performed widely throughout the world, constantly investigating new modes of expression and movement.