Anthony Braxton – Composition 58

Composition No. 58 is an extended structure for the creative marching orchestra that was composed by Anthony Braxton in 1976 in Woodstock, New York. In this work the familiar and extended implications of march music dynamics are focused on as a basis to expand the spectrum focus of creative exploration. Composition No. 58 is constructed as a complete march structure with all of the traditional divisions and components that have come to establish the uniqueness of that medium. This is a complete music structure, rather than a single-line structure (phrase grouping) that includes the use of traditional vertical harmonic constructions, break string sections and thematic material focus. The traditional aspects of Composition No. 58 are constructed to exist and sound like any normal march music one might find on the radio or street. This was necessary because the extended implications of the work involve the weight of what is perceived as normal (traditional)—as a point of definition to view structural evolution (and growth). Composition No. 58 is conceived as an experience that opens up the sound space of the music—to show us that nothing is necessarily what it seems ‘or is in only one state.’ The reality of this structure takes one on a journey that starts from the familiar and moves into the abstract, from what was comfortable and ‘perceived known’ (experienced) to ‘what must now be paid attention to’ (learned). This is a ‘perceived’ light structure that is offered in the dynamic tradition of march music continuance. The reality of this effort is constructed as a march structure that can actually be marched to—and performed in a parade. By providing this function Composition No. 58 seeks to reunite into the composite realness of march music dynamics—reconnecting to the activity done in Sedalia, Missouri and New Orleans. Composition No. 58 is an extended structural platform that establishes traditional march music tendencies as a basis for post-AACM creative exploration dynamics. The reality of this work is conceived as a time warp musical context that suddenly shifts into another gear (and later returns). With an experience of this nature it is possible to re-see (experience) the familiar. Composition No. 58 is dedicated to the master composer John Phillip Sousa.

Source: ReStructures.

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