the sauce (aka "Saucy")
Incredibly(?) enough, this piece & its companion, STAIN, were both 'performed' as a part of Crab Feast #3 on January 24, 1980, as part of the Telectropheremanniversary at the Proposal Gallery in BalTimOre. I write "Incredibly" because both of these pieces, which I've paper-clipped together, are so tenuous. "the sauce" is borderline conventionally performable because it gives suggestions & times for the realizations but "STAIN" is more or less devoid of anything substantial to respond to performatively. Both 'scores' are in the "Detane Showpiece? < Why Bother?" folder in the "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" expanding folder wallet.
Given that these works are from my early 20s, 44 to 45 years ago, I don't have as fresh a memory or understanding of them as I would have at the time. Furthermore, the "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" wallet has a fair amount of enigmatic &/or incoherent notes in it that I don't have the energy to revisit thoroughly at the moment. Instead, I'm scanning & perusing the contents piece by piece. "Dead Man with a Horn" is my 1st (d) composition (1974) & is the earliest piece in the "Detane Showpiece? < Why Bother?" folder in the "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" expanding folder wallet. It's also the most important one from the collection that I'll try to explain in these online pages. "the sauce" & "STAIN" came slightly later.
As I recall, "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" was a collection of pieces meant to be somehow performed as a whole. The collection included some 'impossible' (or unlikely) pieces such as an instruction to encircle the Earth at its equator with replicas of the New York Woolworth building (something scheduled to be declared a readymade by Marcel Duchamp - which he apparently never did (or I've forgotten that he did)). These replicas were to be placed on their sides end-to-end tops-to-bottoms. The 'performance' element was to explode them all. I don't remember whether the original instruction called for the replicas to be to scale. If not, ecodisaster might be avoidable by having the replicas be tiny. At any rate, the idea was that if that part of "Excerpt(s) From: &/or 4 Retiring _" wasn't performed then none of it should be. A film I made in collaboration with Marshall Reese:
[005. "Collaboration w/ Marshall Reese" [discarded]
- super 8
- app. 3:00
- fall '78]
was put in the wallet but I pulled it out & discarded it. That's a classic "GEE, I wish I hadn't done that." instance. The film featured the 2 of us in an apartment I lived in in Baltimore in the fall of 1978 where I cut up all the frames of "Mike Film" amongst other things. One or both of us wore my "Suggestion Box" sculpture over their head & a typewriter (that I still have) was somehow involved.
I remember even less about my intentions with "Detane Showpiece? < Why Bother?". On 2 stapled-together typewritten sheets (shown below after this paragraph) the collection of work in the folder is apparently grouped together under "...detane showpiece" & is to:
1 begin with Dead Man With A Horn
The 2nd typewritten (& handwritten) page gives a simple list of contents that seems to begin with "2" - which might mean that the above is "1" even though it appears to be the same as "2":
2 Dead Man With A Horn - realization based on otherwise notes
3 &/or a showpiece for retiring _____/denated
4 Detane (temporarily, at least)
5 The Plastic Box Contents Etc (temporarily, at least) [handwritten addition]
6 Bi-Monthly (temporarily, at least)
7 Roll Expectations - Copulatory Muzak
8 piece for voices & drums (temporarily, at least)
9 end (round?) with Dead Man With a Horn
Saucy & Stain - Crab Feast things...
Location chosen X Realizer
(between 2 & 9)
"the sauce" & "STAIN" were added later. The "X" means "by" (as in a measurement) & that ball-point pen addition just means "the sauce" & "STAIN" could be put anywhere between the 2 "Dead Man with a Horn" 'bookends' (but probably with "Saucy" 1st & "STAIN" after it since the sauce is presumed to be the cause of the stain.
Here's the actual score:
I've flipped the back-side here to make it easier to read online:
If the typewriting isn't too faint for you, you'll notice that the original title, "the sauce", is struck out and replaced with "Saucy". I've reverted to preferring the original title. When I quote my handwriting I don't quote the original capitalization because whenever I block-print it's in CAPITALS - which is of no significance other than that was the quickest way I could write.
The 2nd line says "for crab feast" because that was a band project named by my friend Brian Wolle that was conceived of in mid-1975, at the same time as "the sauce" & 'STAIN", but not realized (without Brian) until the end of 1979 into early 1980. The "for crab feast" here refers to a project in potentia rather than one yet in existence. The only film that shows a brief bit of the actual Crab Feast (rehearsing) was made by John Ellsberry & is online here:
"Crab Feast No.2 & 1 Halfish" (1980) - a film by John Ellsberry. That's not John's title, it's mine. I added the soundtrack too - it's by Crab Feast, a band of mine that John was in. We're shown rehearsing at the end. I had the transfer done & added the titles, John may not approve. - https://youtu.be/yamGE-mVW8A?t=20s
The next 4 lines of the score are struck through & say:
This time of my life was when I was living in an apartment on Calvert St in Baltimore with my friend & collaborator Charles Brohawn. I only lived there for 2 to 4 months but that was a very fertile time. I worked on my Frame of Reference sculpture then. You can get an idea of that from this movie:
596. "tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE Interviewed by Kent Bye February 16, 2002E.V."
- shot by Kent Bye; edited & titled by tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE who also enlarged upon the interview - especially by including footage shot by Kent Bye of his Frame of Reference puppet theater (1975)
- on my onesownthoughts YouTube channel here: https://youtu.be/6E8U-O0b21U
- on the Internet Archive here: https://archive.org/details/tENTInterviewKent
I remember many things about living there. My bedroom was off the hallway. One entered it through the back of a wardrobe that I'd removed the back panel from. One had to part my sparse wardrobe of clothes. On the wall I had a somewhat large drawing I'd made held on the wall purely by static electricity. Taking up most of the space in the room was an inflated weather balloon.
I'd set up full-length mirrors in the living room so that people sitting in the "Narcissist Chair" would see reflections of themselves wherever they looked. I didn't work while I lived there, I'd probably made enough money to live off of by being a research volunteer. I spent much of the day sitting in the living room getting stoned & listening to records & reading the liner notes. As unproductive as that may seem, it was a fantastic way to study music & I felt a deep connection to what I listened too.
The reason for the Stockhausen reference above is that I was listening to Stockhausen's "Momente", which I had a deep love for. I know that the score was somehow inspired by "Momente", &, perhaps, if I were to reread '"Momente"'s liner notes I might get the connection - but I'm not going to do that right now. Of course, it's easy to dismiss the hypothetical connection by saying that "I was just stoned" & that the connection was more fanciful & tenuous than substantial. That seems probable even to me but I'm not entirely convinced.
The date given is "8 14 21". As I've explained more articulately elsewhere, that's an example of a dating system that I was experimenting with that I'm fairly sure had at least 2 interpretations at one point or another. I'm interpreting it here to mean the 14th day of the 8th month during which I was 21 years old. The text with arrows that begins on the front of the onion-skin paper & continues on the back says: "alter, per performance, by desingating the last time indication: the 1st time indication & shifting the other time indicater designations 1 step closer to the end." This instruction was apparently added 2 days after the main instruction had been typed because the back is dated "8 16 21".
Looking at the front again, one notices faint pencil marks that show the final "aloud" instruction as "10" seconds long by having an arrow from its end leading to the 1st "unison seconds" number. All the other instructions are shifted down one by their end-connecting-lines. Hence, it seems that after the January 24, 1980, performance I changed the score accordingly.
Ignoring the timings, the score itself says:
melt the above
simulate a tooth decay sound-track
snow-bound in the Alps
melt the above
read the score
At the risk of being just-another egomaniac stoner (retired stoner for a long time now) I still find the above of interest even though I would never create a piece like this again.
For one thing, I find it funny to begin "the sauce" with "a beginning" but to then go immediately on to "a middle" without its actually being IN the middle & to then go to "an end" even though it's not the end yet.
From there, I find it interesting that I further challenge the performer to "melt the above", meaning to melt a beginning, a middle, & an end: how does one do that?! One is even expected to revel in this.. this melting? Probably. But then it's time to "revel out". Obviously, "revel in" is a prefabricated English phrase in common enough usage but "revel out" is a play off of that that's basically senseless.
Perhaps the difficulty of revelling out might lead to a tooth-ache - hence the "simulate a tooth decay sound-track". I might've had one or more wisdom teeth pulled at the time. I remember the dentist not prescribing pain-killers for me, apparently because he thought I was one of those hippie drug addict types. Instead, I was to put tea bags over the hole(s) in my gums. As I recall, that wasn't very effective.
After that, there's "pretend you're": I particularly like this instruction because it has its own duration before the text moves on to "snow-bound in the Alps". I interpret "pretend you're" to be open to interpretation. It doesn't necessarily have to combine with "snow-bound in the Alps" to make the latter instruction mean "pretend you're snow-bound in the Alps". The instructions are playfully ambiguous.
I do remember that "snow-bound" was meant to be a metaphor for "heroin-addicted" (&, no, I've never been a heroin addict or an addict of any kind) - "snow" being slang for heroin since they're both white powders visually (of course, there's probably heroin that isn't white & snow isn't, strictly speaking, a powder even though it's often referred to as such) I think that partially explains the following line of "The Alps?" as if the "snow-bound in the Alps" is being questioned. In other words, is "the Alps" included in the "snow-bound in the Alps" line just to flesh out the metaphor & is it, therefore, irrelevant as a physical location?
A 2nd "melt the above" following this is fairly obvious: it's meant to evoke imagining both melting heroin in water before injection (something I highly DON'T RECOMMEND) & melting the snow in the Alps.
Then there's "read the score": since it, too, has its own duration it can mean to read the score silently ir out loud before the word "aloud" appears. Then the word "aloud" can be said aloud for the designated time. Naturally, one might get so caught up in conventional expectations that the subtleties of this might be ignored while the performer reads the entire score.
I chose to revert from "Saucy" to "the sauce" as the preferred title because "Saucy" was chosen to ambiguously still refer to "the sauce" but to also refer to a person with a lively personality who might also be highly sexed. I now prefer "the sauce" because it's more subtle.
- August 27, 2019E.V. notes from tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE
idioideo at verizon dot net
to the tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE (d) compositions index
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