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Tone for Roskilde

by Geoffrey Hendricks

Following Eric Andersen’s performance with Lynghøjskolens Brass Band at Stænder Square, the orchestra performed a score by Geoffrey Hendricks.
For the occasion Geoffrey Hendricks composed the score SKY MUSIC for Dick.


Hendricks wrote the following instruction for the brass band:

“You are a group. Work to think together. Listen to each other.
For about the first minute search out your highest range.
For the second minute let these sounds come together in rich harmonies.
If you have an instrument with a low range try to let the sound of a higher instrument be an overtone of the sound you’re making. Then in the third minute gradually give way to the highest tones and let that part of the group move on up to the sky, to which you should all be looking.”

Note: A decade earlier Dick Higgins had composed a work dedicated to me:
Clouds for Piano, for Geoffrey Hendricks, Cloudsmith, 1974.
The first performance of that work was by Paul Hoffman at the Kitchen in New York sometime that same year. My piece was in part a response to Dick’s score, and the two became a kind of musical sky exchange.
Later the piece became referred to as Tone for Roskilde. It was a score that Philip Corner performed with groups of musicians on various occasions, and on at least one occasion it became Tone for Asolo. I also included it in performances, including the opening of my exhibition Day into Night in Warsaw in 1994, and for a performance at the exhibition Fluxus East in Budapest this year. In those two instances two-sided day sky watercolors were raised up toward the ceiling while a musician with a wind instrument moved toward the highest note possible while looking at the sky being raised. It was also to have been the final work, with the musicians going outdoors, for our realization of Dick Higgins’ The Thousand Symphonies, arranged and conducted by Philip Corner at Douglass College, Rutgers University in conjunction with my exhibition Critical Mass, Happenings, Fluxus, Performance, Intermedia and Rutgers University, 1958 –1972, in September 2003.