Untitled Brick Collapse
(Jun, 2018)

Written specifically for the penultimate Dogstar concert of the 2018 season.

Three performers are in charge of their own system; their initial goal to create a modular monochord with bricks, tuning pegs, piano wire, and an E-Bow. Two towers are created per system and a monochord's assembly consists of tuning the piano wire until any more tension would pull the two towers toward each other; which would lead to their collapse. Once assembled, the performer must place the E-Bow at the proper height until the piano wire is vibrating and a clean tone is heard.

After their assembly, the performers synchronously activate a motor attached to the end of each system. The motor, held down by a 3D printed attachment, tunes the monochord, increasing the tension between the two short towers.

When a performer notices that the tension of their piano wire might lead to a collapse of their system, they add more bricks to their system. This process is continued until there are no more bricks to be added. This process is further continued until two of the systems have fallen. At which point, the three performers combine all of their bricks into one grand system, and the previous steps are repeated.

"Pictured is a still from last night's stunning, ear bending piece by Eric Heep (aided by Amy Golden and Ethan Marks) - a modular, unstable instrument composed of bricks, books, strings, e-bows, tuning pegs and gravity, that seemed to know things about physical/acoustic space (in Betalevel and beyond) that we're only beginning to understand."

Michael Pisaro