A year of lost paper cards: Completion of Composition Exercise #51

I’ve completed Composition Exercise #51, a meta-Exercise which goes like this:

Buy a set of 50 flashcards.

Write a Composition Exercise on each one.

Go for a walk and drop the cards in public places.

It’s taken me almost a year, and many walks – much longer than intended. There were long breaks in between where I forgot to bring cards, lost my unused ones, or even forgot that I was still doing the piece. I’ve photographed and publicly shared some of the cards in the wild. Here they are for your enjoyment:

#compositionexercise51 Fifty

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#compositionexercise51 Forty-seven

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Thirty-five

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Thirty-three

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Thirty

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Twenty-nine

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Twonty-Fivo

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Twenty-two

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Twenty-one

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Seventeen

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Fifteen

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Fourteen

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Twelve

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Seven

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Five

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 Three

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am

#CompositionExercise51 One

Ein Beitrag geteilt von Tobias Reber (@tobiasreber) am


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Composition Exercise #90

Create a set of sound files.

Upload them to your phone or tablet.

Compose a piece with in which these sounds are triggered only through singular or recurring reminders which you set in a reminder app.

The duration can be anything from several minutes to several months.


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Setting a reminder is an act of composition

Setting a reminder on your phone is an act of composition: deciding and initiating that a certain thing is to happen – and, literally, a sound is to be played – at a certain point in the future.

Setting multiple, even many, such reminders creates a polyphony, a polyrhythm of intentions. Such an approach lends itself to systematization and automation.

Taking a systematic, flexible and thus generative approach to handling our  intentions, commitments and observations is to move towards a life in which these can begin to resonate with each other: a move towards integrity and growth.

Davos, December 29, 2017 / Biel, January 3, 2018

Composition Exercise #88

For one year, dedicate each month to twelve musical cultures that are foreign to you. Listen to at least one piece every day. Go to a concert. Maybe even take some lessons. Observe what makes each culture sound like itself. What is rigid in this music, and what is flexible and improvised? What are the sonic and rhythmic qualities? As the year progresses, observe differences and similarities between the cultures you’ve encountered.

Two remarks:

1) Don’t get intimidated by the duration. Instead of twelve months you could also do twelve weeks, or twelve years.

2) “Musical cultures” could mean music from other ethnic cultures, but it could also mean immersing youself in Detroit techno, then German Schlager, K-Pop or your city’s flavour of Hip Hop.


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