Where Music Goes II
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York City; November 15 and 16, 1989
Arthur Blythe, alto sax; Thurman Barker, vibes, percussion; Marion Brandis, flute, piccolo; Vincent Chancey, French horn; Curtis Clark, piano; J. A. Deane, trombone, live sampling; Janet Grice, bassoon; Bill Horvitz, electric guitar; Jason Hwang, violin; Taylor McLean, percussion; Jemeel Moondoc, flute; Zeena Parkins, harp; Brandon Ross, acoustic guitar
Conducting is no longer a mere method for an interpretation, but an actual part of the process of composition. Conduction is a means by which a conductor may compose, (re)orchestrate, (re)arrange and sculpt both notated and non-notated music. Using a vocabulary of signs and gestures, many within the general glossary of traditional conducting, the conductor may alter or initiate rhythm, melody, and harmony; develop form and structure; and instantaneously change articulation, phrasing, and meter. Conduction is a viable musical tool for the improvising ensemble. —Butch Morris
“Testament challenges not only conductors’ orthodoxy but the very vitals of music and music-making-no tradition is left untouched.... When the musical history of the 20th-century comes to be written, Testament will provide one of its most essential chapters.” —The Wire
“The breadth of colors and compositional styles which Morris obtains from these various ensembles is breathtaking－Xenakis-like string textures, the haunting melisma of a single Turkish flute, a roaring tangle of Sun Ra horns, pointillistic atonal rainfall, a tapestry of cloudy orchestral chords.... The individual personality of each ensemble shines through－no two sound the same.” —Pulse!