Jerry Hunt (Canton, Texas 3/12/1993)

Some observations on the work and work procedure of Laetitia Sonami

I met Laetitia Sonami at STEIM in Amsterdam when we both were guest residents. Over a period of several weeks I came to know her, a few examples of her work and some aspects of her method of working. The considerations which follow have stayed with me since this encounter, and have been valuable to me in my own work. The list below is not complete, but I hope listeners who encounter her work will find some useful definitions from these observations and that this can provide an expanded appreciation of this remarkable composer and musician.

There are several prominent target features which I think suggest, both in the experience of the work and the extensions of compositional procedure which can be extrapolated from these features, important reinforcements for listeners. I've tried to generalize some target features which I've received from experiences with three works:

* The direct use of experimental confrontational goals - in the first gesture and completion actions of the compositional and performance process, the system and circumstance of the work are held as implicit given characterizations, not projective or controllable media, subordinate to a deep translation : a circumstantial and confrontational modulation functions in this way as a provision of the subversion of choice as action

* In structure and formulation of the final function-model which eventually produces the work, a string of history based global accumulations, of data and system, occurs - - as an experience of working, this seems to operate in a multi-directive and comprehensive mode: the special nature of this approach allows a transparent and elegant ease of cross-copies across the usual threshold barriers between personal affect and interpersonal projective gesture (this is distinct from ci custom-habit process which starts as a translation to problem goal formulation and resolves in performance and reinforcement (evaluation) as solution, produced as display object for evaluation and power sharing)

* Both in the passage of the performance and the reforming of the passage in reconstruction, a multiplex progression of affects and derivatives assembles as a series of interpenetrating strand narratives, as performance discipline. In the action which leads to a formal procedure for the work or performance, a predisposition is generated by a cross comparative evaluation which is sustained as an operative mechanism, without limit goals and adaptively concurrent with the narrative strand evaluations

* At once, as part of the generative process and at the moment of encounter (as performance), there is a distribution of non- linear ordering (pick-up) : root priorities are functionally driven and altered in focus and orientation by a procedurally contiguous and disjunctive sensational stress-ordering (and oriented in actual working method by a progression of priorities developed out of situational and transactional associations): this is a transparent procedure with essentially empty goals: there is no disconnection between affect-effect in the performance work or sound event and its consequent affectation bundle

* Distributed through the assembly series actions are intensive burst-localized problem-solving convergences to a equivalent string of shiftable multivalent goals - a global convergence of stress directives - cross compared with the empty targets, the even production occurs as a simulation of responsive commentary (the affective complement translates as a nonspecific auditory theatre: radio-surveillance [private])

* The result of this procedural range of defining categories is the production of an expectation and reward system which generates an immediate consequence a personal narrative directive: implicit (and at once subject to enhancement by casual and circumstantial coloration)

* Accumulative feature goals occur responsively both by the arrangement of a collected assortment of strands and by the narrative implication which permits auditor interaction: this auditor response strategy is implicit in the structural devision: transparent and empty goal successions

* Each circumstance of a work contains a pattern collective of correlated experience markers which copy into strategies of work and performance transactional models of some available commone features of the collective strands - this strategy of accumulative features produces the characteristic of the work of performance at a second layer-level: the auditor takes on the role of transactor

The accumulation of these feature operations generates, for each work approach, down-copy reduction modelling, which makes possible in the experience of the work, as auditor, a direct transmission from isolate aural string to (conjectural) elusive, transient visual-affective (transparent, open and neutral) narrative. This last feature is for me the most important, and the aspect of Laetitia Sonami’s work and procedure which I feel is most important for listeners

(Written for “Les Corps Amplifies” Festival. Obscure, Quebec)