Stockhausen and avant garde juggling

Jonglagefestival17This photo was taken during “Downfall” shows this weekend in Herne Germany. It bizarely captures the angst that I have come to associate with this piece.

The piece started life as an essay in reducing juggling to its minimal components, a formalist experiment, then through sessions with John Paul Zaccarini the piece took on a strange emotional subtext. It fascinates me how pieces seemingly take on a life of their own.

Table is one of my favourite of our recent “serious” pieces. The discrepancy between what I often feel are our most interesting pieces and the “juggling” world’s perception of them comes to me as a great surprise.

Luke Wilson kindly came and operated sound for the shows this weekend, he shared with me the following charming quote from John Cage about Karlheinz Stockhausen.

John Cage From the “Music Lover’s Field Companion” 1954: “Karlheinz Stockhausen is clearly interested in music and juggling, constructing as he does “global structures” which can be of service only when tossed in the air”

Our first show quoted Cage texts which also mentioned Stockhausen, and from then on I have felt a strange kinship with the musical avant garde, a bit like, modernist guardian angels. Its interesting how little work has been done on the musical phrasing of juggling, particularly with emphasis on classical music or scored music. Perhaps things will change soon. It sounds like Luke and co are doing interesting research on some of these matters up in cold Stockholm. Perhaps we can look forwards soon to juggling interpretations of Beethoven’s seminal late string quartets.

Words for the week:

Micro-patterns Patterns with less objects than jugglers. Interestingly both Denis Paumier and Daniel Shultz suggested versions of this to me.

From Erik Åberg Rough-swaps. Just using enough of siteswaps to get the meaning across.

Berlini Weaves. Gandini weaves which crave Berlin Ninjaness.

Here is a video filmed at the Royal Opera House of Table

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