Plain(steel-bone-flesh)


Carlo Diaz, guimbarde


Carlo Diaz, doromb



In all of my Plain pieces I work to interact with the history of the instrument at hand. To write a piece for mouth harp in this way is difficult because its context is non-notated and improvised forms from around the world rather than is not within notated Western classical music. So I interact with the improvisational history of the instrument by creating a piece to be improvised within. The score is merely a large-scale diagram of techniques and proportions.

The mouth harp is the only wind instrument that makes use of both inhalation and exhalation. This makes possible extended periods of play without interruption and invariably causes its music to be a contemplation of breathing. The mouth harp is thus one of the clearest possible carriers of the concept of human physical stasis. In effort to pursue the clearest structural route, I have made a piece about breath - steel resonating with lips, jaw, tongue, throat, lungs, diaphragm, and body.

[2016]