4PM is without doubt the most ambitious and most personal work I’ve ever undertaken.
Years ago I made a pitch from my ego. Years later, when granted the opportunity to undertake it, my ego had recognised process as its ruler.
Now, I’m ensconced in the MONA museum, Tasmania Australia doing what I said I’d do.
The following two statements may contradict each other:
Beginnings are easy; finishing something is more difficult.
There’s no such thing as a blank page, only one’s resistance to writing on it.
Each day at 4pm a quartet arrives to play what the composer has written. At the beginning of each day is a blank page (not really, see above). The hours then press on the composer’s courage to write what comes to mind without too much reservation because the musicians are on route to play the work. Today! No covers, no repeats, no forgiveness. Vulnerable.
An outcome every day that doesn’t always promise good music, but an outcome must be reached. The work of making. Make work. Conditions and limitations must be set.
As an artist, I’m interested in what gets finished. The courage to complete, surrendering to scrutiny. As an educator it’s even more compelling to encourage the young to grow comfortable with that surrender. To suck at something for a bit and own it.
I also suffer a mild form of auditory processing disorder which, developmentally, has always made it very difficult for me to remember things in sequence. This makes reading music and playing it straight away a complex process (I don’t remember what I just read when I then look down at my hands to play piano and vice-versa). I’ve learned to cope in my own way.
This process of working under pressure will test claims of ‘finishing’. This will force me to suck a lot. I’m comfortable with that. For a while at least until something good comes.
All the live recordings are available here: