You Burn Us, by Amanda Schoofs
(2013) A visual and poetic score for piano, percussion, voice, and strings (including nontraditional, found, and handmade instruments)
You Burn Us is a series of thirty-eight visual and poetic scores meant to provoke or awaken a volition within the performer, which might not otherwise surface. Presented as a portfolio of nineteen doubled sided cards, You Burn Us is a series of thirty-eight scores at 10” x 7” each. Through experimenting with painting, writing, printmaking, xerography, typography, and digital practices the work pushes the ideas of theme, repetition, and variation to their extremes.
The formal structure is appropriated from John Cage’s Songbooks. It can be performed in whole or in part; as a solo, or in any ensemble variation. The musicians are encouraged to choose scores that resonate with them, and can perform as many or as few as they would like. The scores can be performed in any order; can be played one after another, or simultaneously; and can be repeated. The duration is free, and can be predetermined, or decided spontaneously in performance. The length of time that the musicians perform each score is indeterminate, and should vary. The performers may begin and end anywhere on the page (scores do not need to be read traditionally from left to right, top to bottom). The poetic scores are provocative fragments that can be interpreted conceptually, instrumentally, or vocally. They are meditations on sound and performance, inspired by my experiences with improvising, performing, and listening.