New York-based contemporary composer Sarah Weaver is also a technologist and researcher specialized in Network Arts, an innovative form of art that utilizes the internet as an artistic medium and as a metaphor for localized works. Weaver composed works and conducted live performance via the internet by musicians and artists in different geographic locations, utilizing specialized network audio and video technology for low-latency, multichannel, performance-quality experience.
«Reality Axis» applies the concept of network arts and music for three solo works that Weaver composed for master percussionist Gerry Hemingway, using his highly imaginative language on the drum set, technical capacity for processing simultaneous layers, and his intuitive ability for synthesizing complex structures, and raw expressiveness. Weaver conceived the three works as sonic sculptures that a resourceful improviser would interpret with his personal language.
The first piece, «Node 111, Volumes 1-3 (2011-2016)» grew out of a a five-location telematic concert for five quartets, now incorporated for Hemingway solo percussion. The second work, «Reality Axis (2016)» employs electronics as an additional layering techniques. The last work «Nexus Expanse (2018)» offers a deep meditation of resonant sounds.
Each work challenged Hemingway to offer his own insights for Weaver elaborate text-based and graphic notation. Her notation suggested structural indications and attention strategies – possible states of consciousness that would direct the intuitive choice of content and action, the speed and density of the material, resonance levels (ranging from dry to wet), the dynamics, the orchestration of independent layers of content that emulate networking, the frequency range from high to low, and the length and order of each work’s segments as Hemingway chooses.
There is no better percussionist or improviser other than Hemingway to realize these demanding works. His performance goes way beyond inspired or virtuous technique. He plays, improvises and spontaneously re-composes these pieces as his own, totally possessed by the tasking orchestration. These works become vivid, almost tangible sculptures with his visionary palette of inventive sounds and percussive gestures, great sense of control and focus on detail.
Gerry Hemmingway (dr, perc)