photo (c) Dimitri Djuric

Michael Baldwin [Factory] Interview

As mentioned in previous posts, I’ve had the good fortune of having Michael Baldwin perform [Factory] twice in the last year. Michael’s just posted about his second performance. Read it here.


Extending from a tradition of verbal scores using text and language to communicate ideas for making music, Nickel’s [factory] is unique in the way its musical and artistic ideas are communicated. As a part of a larger project, Luke has orally expressed a range of ideas to a group of humans who have agreed to act as mentally encapsulated vessels of specific ideas, committing to memory a one-off communicated ur-speech. Upon creating and storing these memories, each human is considered to be a live, embodied manifestation of the original ideas, rendering them into, what Luke would call, living scores (what I consider to be living repositories which store, maintain, and disseminate living scores).

– Michael Baldwin on [Factory]

Even in this short quote, one can see Michael’s commitment to thinking deeply about ideas implicit and explicit to such conceptual work. I find it most interesting at the end of the quote when Michael makes a distinction as to where the score is located: people are archives or repositories for scores, rather than being the score themselves. This is an important distinction to make, and one I need to sit with for a while. My impulse is still to cite the score as actually being a person, for the reason that we’re not actually dealing with any sort of written information or artifacts (just “ideas”). Similarly, I see score/performance practice/praxis as wrapped into one, and then wrapped up with the person themselves. I can probably find more answers to this in a book that both Michael and I are reading, Diana Taylor’s The Archive and the Repertoire.


For more of Michael’s thoughts, please also check out this interview he’s done (it can be found around the 40 minute mark). Again, more thoughts that I need to investigate, but I particularly like the way that Michael’s thinking about the rooms as distinct temporal zones …





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