Aiming for World Records
What is the world record for the greatest number of composers in one piece? According to Liz Jigalin it’s 40, and the Music Box Project has just broken it. Liz and her fellow third-year composition students at the Sydney Conservatorium presented “In 4”, a collaborative piece incorporating 40 composers from across the world – from Belarus to London to Tasmania.
In the lounge room setting of the Justice Centre, the three passionate young music producers – Liz Jigalin, Oliver Hollenbach and Erin Hendry – created a soiree that celebrated new music, collaboration and the unexpected.
Astounding and mesmerising
The piece is based on cells, short phrases of music curated from over 90 submissions, arranged to create balance, some order out of the chaos. It tumbles from laconic soundscapes to wild and beastial chaos, from abstraction to jazz – the full gamut. The score, or map of the piece, is handed out to the audience to follow along.
The orchestra of Sydney Conservatorium of Music students is arranged in a quartet of quartets, four parts of four – woodwind, brass, electronic and an ‘other’ quartet – piano, violin, drum kit and vibraphone. Their dedication to the piece is evident by the intensity they maintain over nearly an hour.
Overwhelming number of 4 bar submissions
The three producers started working on the piece last September and were overwhelmed by the composers’ response. The only condition of submission was that each piece had to be 4 bars long, original, notated (no sound files accepted) and it had to convey the idea of the number 4.
The group plans to release a recording of the piece, working with a visual artist.
“We strongly believe in collaboration. All composers can have a voice if they want one,” says Liz.