Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Clay Continent - What do you mean by Cadenza?

Up late last night thinking and scheming about Clay Continent

I was experimenting with different ways to lay to the text out on the page so as to make the tempo and timing of the simultaneous lines as evident as possible.

Usually the simultaneity takes shape in one of three ways

1) Two characters performing monologue
2) Two characters in dialogue while a third comments
3) All three characters performing monologue

I was also attempting to identify the spots within the text where the Cadenzas could take place.

From Wikipedia

In music, a cadenza (Italian for cadence) is, generically, an improvised or written-out ornamental passage played or sung by a soloist or soloists, usually in a "free" rhythmic style, and often allowing for virtuosic display. (Randel 1986)

Cadenza often refers to a portion of a concerto in which the orchestra stops playing, leaving the soloist to play alone in free time (without a strict, regular pulse) and can be written or improvised, depending on what the composer specifies.


The cadenza was originally, and remains, a vocal flourish improvised by a performer to elaborate a cadence in an aria. It was later used in instrumental music, and soon became a standard part of the concerto. Originally, it was improvised in this context as well, but during the 19th century, composers began to write cadenzas out in full. Third parties also wrote cadenzas for works in which it was intended by the composer to be improvised, so the soloist could have a well formed solo that they could practice in advance.

So the goal in this project is to have many Cadenzas written out in full that the performers can then pick from at various set times within the script. if we successfully prepare 2 different casts to do the show then the Cadenza possibilities are even more enormous.

Of course there are many possible things to aim at using this tactic

1)Immediacy - If the performers know when, but don't know what Cadenza will be performed it could create something intensely vibrant on stage.

2)Chaotic Gonzo Quality - There is something to the approach and emulation of Raoul Duke, that I think this sort of performance tactic might enable.

3)Variety - The performance piece stays fresh, stays alive because (within certain established parameters) It has the possibility of being new, being different every night.

Of course I am certain that these sort of tactics are utilized by improv troupes. I am not versed in improv terminology or technique, but I do have a number of collaborators who are, so I think we can successfully attempt this approach.

No comments: