Zaum Box: New Music for Speaking Percussionist

  • Christopher Adler University of San Diego
Keywords: composition, contemporary music, futurism, percussion, sound poetry

Abstract

Zaum Box is a collection of compositions for solo speaking percussionist setting transrational Russian futurist sound poetry called zaum. Zaum arose among a small interdisciplinary group of artists, writers, musicians and thinkers who invented a beyond-rational language as part of the radical disruption of traditional artistic and expressive forms, necessary to bring about the accelerated experience of a technologically-driven future. The subgenre of contemporary concert music for solo speaking instrumentalist dates from the 1970’s and has grown into a significant branch of the solo percussion repertoire. The composition of Zaum Box was founded on an extended period of research into zaum, futurism and Russian language. The complete set of compositions was produced as a limited-edition box set of uniquely formatted scores, which were realised by percussionist Katelyn Rose King in a set of ten videos. This article by the composer reviews all the phases of this project, including research and production, and examines the relationships between text, sound, music and theatricality in selected scores.

Downloads

Download data is not yet available.

References

Adler, C. (2007). Reflections on cross-cultural composition. In J. Zorn (Ed.), Arcana II: Musicians on music (pp. 9-35). Granary Books/Hips Road.

Adler, C. (2012). Mathematics, automation and intuition in Signals Intelligence for percussion. Sonic Ideas 4(1), 9-15.

Adler, C. (2016). Zaum box. Liber Pulveris Press.

Adler, C. & King, K. (2016). Zaum box (playlist of ten videos). https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PL1euiR8RcG1didrOCWKAcQYbIv3q8mQ6I&v=xmrC-iZiscE

Burmesier, R., Oberhofer, M. & Francini, E.T. (2016). Dada Africa: Dialogue with the other. Scheidegger und Spiess.

Groys, B. (2011). The total art of Stalinism: Avant-garde, aesthetic dictatorship, and beyond. Verso.

Harte, T. (2009). Fast forward: The aesthetics and ideology of speed in Russian avant-garde culture, 1910-1930. University of Wisconsin Press.

Higgins, H. (2002). Fluxus experience. University of California Press.

Janecek, G. (1996). Zaum: The transrational poetry of Russian futurism. San Diego State University Press.

Kamensky, V. (1914). Tango s korovami [Tango with cows]. First Journal of Russian Futurists.

Kruchenykh, A. & Khlebnikov, V. (1988). Slovo kak takovoe [The word as such]. In A. Lawton & H. Eagle, (Eds., trans.), Russian futurism through its manifestoes, 1912-1928 (pp. 57-62). Cornell University Press.

Kruchenykh, A. & Larionov, M. F. (1913). Pomada. G. Kuzʹmina and S. Dolinskago.

Kruchenykh, A. (1917). Uchites’ khudogi. [Learn, artists!]. n.p.

Kruchenykh, A. (1918). F/Nagt. n.p.

Perloff, N. (2016). Explodity: Sound, image, and word in Russian futurist book art. Getty Research Institute.

Schick, S. (2006). The percussionist’s art: Same bed, different dreams. University of Rochester Press.

Whiting Smith, B. A. (2012). Narratives on narratives, from utterance to stories: Finding a context for the speaking percussionist [Doctoral dissertation, University of California San Diego]. https://escholarship.org/uc/item/2c92h7p0

Zdanevich, I. (1923). LidantIU fAram [Lidantiu as beacon]. 41°.
Published
2020-09-22
How to Cite
Adler, C. (2020). Zaum Box: New Music for Speaking Percussionist. Malaysian Journal of Music, 9, 55-64. https://doi.org/10.37134/mjm.vol9.5.2020