NOTES toward the performance of LOVINGS, by three or, preferably, more players

Each sentence in the collection of single-sentence stories may be spoken or played by instrumentalists. If the latter, the performer is asked to evoke by whatever means are available to his or her instrument the content and style of that particular sentence. It is also permissible to mix speaking and playing within the performance of a single sentence. Singers may choose to sing the words to a melody of their own devising, or vocalize the text, likewise to a melody of their own devising. Any number of performers may participate; they may be distributed in any arrangement across the stage or over the space. No conductor is required.

As each sentence is completely independent of all the others, they may be performed in any order, with or without overlapping, with one limitation--no one shall perform two sentences in succession. Performers should feel free to pick sentences from the text, selecting whatever they find most appropriate to their instruments or their speech. Some line-interpretations may be prerecorded on tape, making the speakers another instrument in the performance (as long as the rule against two in succession is observed). Live-time electronic transformation of performers' sounds is also permissible. Sentences not chosen by the performers may be assigned to them by a group leader (or discarded). Duration of both individual lines and the entire work may vary widely.

Once the performers established an order, it might be convenient to number the sentences and then station at the head of the ensemble a sequential counter, human or mechanical, that prompts the performance of the next sentence. If the performers can develop alternate interpretations for either the stories they have selected or those initially assigned to others, the cycle of stories may be repeated within a single performance. One purpose of considering Lovings as a musical score is seeing whether a strictly verbal text can generate musical interpretations and thus exploring the relationship between literary tone and musical tone.

All performances should be reported to ASCAP. Copyright c 2000 by Richard Kostelanetz/Wordsand Music.