American composer James Tenney conceived Having Never Written a Note for Percussion in 1971. The score, handwritten on a single post card (one of ten Postal Pieces), instructs a performer to play an unspecified percussion instrument continuously and gradually from its quietest point to its loudest point, hold for a "very long" time, then return gradually to its quietest point, requiring absolute concentration and stamina to perform. The piece invites the performer to traverse the subtlest sonic gradations of both the chosen instrument and the acoustic space in which it resonates. The two renditions included on this record were performed with a 32-inch gong and two mallets. The first recording captures the dry, close-up sound of the instrument, while the second recording captures the natural resonance and reverberation of a unique acoustic space, the unused train tunnels beneath Dupont Circle in downtown Washington, D.C.
Side A (27:28)
Performed at Brookland Artspace Studios, Washington D.C., on September 20, 2012. Recorded by Seth Joshua Peña using two AKG 414 microphones.
Side B (30:11)
Performed in the Dupont underground train tunnels beneath Washington D.C. on September 22, 2012. Recorded by Jocelyn Frank using a Sony PCM-M10 portable audio recorder.
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