Experimental Score and Music for Furniture
In March 2022, I was working at my computer when this increasingly rickety chair collapsed beneath me! It was time to get back to responsible eating and get a new chair. But amid the intensive planning and production of The Festival of Form: John Cage and the Infinite Human events, it occurred to me that I could play around with the ideas of music, sound, noise, and silence, and particularly the unconventional experiments of notation and scoring. Shortly after this chair broke, I took a sharpie pen to it and began to notate it like a score, along with some of the hallmark stick-figures I’d drawn into my drawings of Stravinsky and Bach around the same time. In this instance, the ideas of music and notation merge with art, experience, and various areas of interpretation. In the manner of Cage, we might ask: What was the music? What is the score? What do the notations indicate or refer to? Was the action or sound of the chair breaking and me falling to the floor a form of “unintended music?” Is there a relationship between sound and score, or even the fact that the object of destruction became the very material score? Certainly, many other questions might be had about this. In determining how to call this piece, whether a score, form of notation, or even contemporary performance art, I often use alliterative descriptors as titles. The best fit for this I thought was chaconne, a Spanish musical style or work that is known for its “short repetitive ground bass” that also contains flourishes, added melodies, and musical decoration. Perhaps it is suitable, for the literal “bass” crashing of my rear to the floor was its own rhythmic contribution to the “Broken Chair Chaconne!” Whatever the interpretation of the work is—whether it is another example of a “once and only once performed” work (due to its accidental nature) or it is seen as something more diffuse or expansive in the contemporary arts—it remains a curiosity for the public to consider. [Though I had thought of keeping the physical piece, I eventually recycled it to make space in my home].
Experimental Music; Experimental Notation; Musical Scores; Avant garde; Furniture; Furniture and Music;
Art Practice | Composition | Interior Architecture | Music Performance | Music Theory | Other Music
Elia, Anthony, "Broken Chair Chaconne" (2022). Bridwell Library Research. 34.
Art Practice Commons, Composition Commons, Interior Architecture Commons, Music Performance Commons, Music Theory Commons, Other Music Commons
Part of collection of experimental music, notation, and scoring that includes works made out of nature, household products, food, and furniture.