OFFSHORE

Monica Duncan and Martin Hiendl
Commissioned and performed by the International Contemporary Ensemble as part of ICElab 2013, 

OFFSHORE is an environment, a passage between land and water, between fixed ground and open sea. Taking the audiovisual elements of nautical communication (e.g. beacons, sonars, buoys) as a starting point for image and sound, the piece establishes a crew on stage with its hierarchies: four brass players and two percussionists—a naval marching band. Similar to the negotiation of ship and crew between fixed ground and open sea, the musical score shifts between fixed and open notation; sometimes it is forcefully rigid, sometimes it leaves it up to the performers to pace the music, sometimes it pushes their actions into chaos. The crew also negotiates their own terrain, from a unified naval marching band to a ship of fools—a group of passengers without a captain, guideless, with a multitude of possible routes. In OFFSHORE, the hierarchies of the crew on stage are influenced by the musical structure and vice versa. These hierarchies shift between militaristic rigor and carnivalesque disorder: they dominate, they erode, they regroup and they collapse. OFFSHORE is a danger zone: It can be painfully loud and painfully fragile, a stage between two stages, a transitory passage in an ever-evolving expedition.

OFFSHORE was performed at The Kitchen (3/2/2013) and Roulette (12/10/2013), NYC.
Credits: Martin Hiendl, music; Monica Duncan, video and staging; William Brent, video/sound engineer; Nicholas Houfek, lighting; Ross Karre, production; Peter Evans and Gareth Flowers, trumpet, Jason Sugata, horn, Max Siegel, trombone/tuba, Ross Karre and Levy Lorenzo, percussion.