On Friday July 20, my son Chris and I drove to North Adams to visit the Mass MOCA. A restored/salvaged mill, the large open spaces invite bold art pieces.
When we arrived, we learned that the contemporary music project "Bang on a Can" was performing at 1:30 and that the musicians were friends, Isobel Hagen and Gabe Taubman, both New York violists. They played a work called "Spiccato" (I didn't catch the composer's name) which was written one week ago.The musicians were instructed to stand at least 10 feet apart from each other, and to play on 4 music stands (see below). It was a rhythmic, driving work, with polyrhythms and close harmonies.
Later, when we looked at the score, it turned out that the notes were written on an 8 line staff with no clef or key; shapes and rhythms were suggested and the rest depended on communication between the two musicians! What we heard was a conversation between the two musicians who had been given parameters for the conversation - no two performances would be the same.