Composition No. 77H is designed to deal with the dynamic possibilities of trills.  This work utilizes several types of trills—from the chromatic and diatonic trill, to the intervallic trill, to the extreme intervallic trill.  This version is constructed in three principle sections and each of these versions can be viewed with respect to its tempo function.  That being, the first section is slow, utilizing chromatic and diatonic trill possibilities in a ballad like context, the second section is faster with a more extreme use of trill material—and the third section utilizes the trill in a more integrated phrase context.  The actual progression of events in this work are conventional as far as idea sequencing is concerned\although there is no theme as such.  This composition is dedicated to the birth of David Aaron Weltin to my friends Hans and Bonnie Weltin.


Anthony Braxton, liner notes to Alto Saxophone Improvisation 1979 (Arista A2L 8602); also Composition Notes D (Frog Peak, 1988: 221-222)

Composition No. 77H is a language music material forum for extended improvisation that was composed in the middle seventies.  The initial idea of this work was taken from Composition No. 8H and placed into a different context to make use of different variables and perceived strategies.  This is a linear phrase grouping sound state (context) that provides a relative material basis for creative exploration.  Composition No. 77H was constructed to emphasize the use of trill sound variables as a basis for material logic.  The instrumentalist is given this consideration to use as a level to enter the space of the music.  This is a linear and melodic-like music state that allows for the use of different approaches (and attitudes).  Composition No. 77H is an open forum context for creative invention that establishes a material and procedure state for participation.  There are no fixed notated sound constructions in the work at all—nor are there any pre-fixed interpretation (focus) criteria that must be observed in the moment to moment idea forming of the music.  This is so because the reality of Composition No. 77H transcends any one focus and/or objective.  To experience this work is to enter a melodic and forceful sound continuum that breathes in several different presences and timbres.  A given interpretation of the work should provide a positive experience—and challenge—to the creative instrumentalist and listener.  Moments are formed in this state of being from the total reality context of its actualization—because all events in Composition No. 77H are conceived from the forward spread of the process—from an intuitive as opposed to empirical context.  The reality of this work can unfold through the context of a ballade or as a material state of being—all of these matters are left to the instrumentalist and the moment.

A given interpretation of Composition No. 77H is an unfolding experience that allows for the use of several material and conceptual objectives.  The reality of this forum should establish (1) the use of trills as a primary material fabric consideration that sets the presence of the music, (2) the use of intervallic trills as an isolated or primary language context, (3) the use of register sound isolation as a basis to generate particular kinds of solutions indigenous to both the instrument and the instrumentalist and (4) the use of a slow pulse section.  In the case of the first operative the use of trill sound lines can be viewed as a winding long sound shape that is more pronounced than in Composition No. [blank] (which takes this consideration—the trill—as an embellishment device that allows for a more 'flowering' kind of invention sparkle).  In Composition No. 77H the trill is more active in the broader sense of sound material imagery (or body).  The instrumentalist is asked to take this consideration and move into the reality of music invention—paint a music of trills or at least paint a ballade state of soft and active sounds that makes use of trill sound line shapes as a primary ingredient in the sound space.  This material is to be placed in a song-state-like sound environment that makes use of living material coordinates and strategies.  Visually the reality of this phenomenon can be viewed in these terms (figure [blank]).  In the second conceptual objective the instrumentalist is asked to shape a sound invention forum that emphasizes intervallic trill considerations.  This objective can be approached as a primary or secondary operative in the music—depending on the needs of the moment.  As a primay objective the use of intervallic trill sound shapes can be used to fashion a music universe of 'double sound ends' that allows for a special context for exploration.  To experience this phenomenon in operation is to encounter an active sound principle that 'etches' its way through the sound space.  Intervallic sound changes in this context can involve both great and small sound changes—depending on the needs of the moment.  Somewhere in the forward thrust of Composition No. 77H it is expected for the instrumentalist to establish this process with respect to its variable options—that is, as a phrase context that also emphasizes small sound distances.  The challenge of when to activate a given strategy is given to the instrumentalist.  It is of course understood that all of these variables are to be looked at as given components of a principle sound state (mix) that can be used and integrated to demonstrate the creativity of the process and of the instrumentalist.  The use of intervallic trills when approached from a fortissimo sound mentality will of course create different results from what this same consideration would establish when integrated with a pianissimo procedure directive.  Part of the excitement of the music has to do with making a decision about the mixture of its given components as the music flows into the forward spread of the moment.  The objective in this context is to create a music language world that celebrates the diversity of its material intermixture—as an exercise in material and conceptual refocus.  The use of an intervallic trill sound language as a principal language coordinate of the music can be viewed in the same context as a vertical harmonic limitation.  This factor is to be placed in the position of sound fabric material that can be used in accordance with the focus and presence of its interpreter.  Every version of this work must be necessarily different and unique because there are no prescribed sound passages or fixed empirical moment constructions to contain any one participation.  The instrumentalist is given a material complex that gives indications about the sound mixture implications of a result—rather than a fixed sound statement.  In the third conceptual operative of Composition No. 77H the instrumentalist is asked to isolate the sound register implications of this material mix as a basis for invention.  What this means is that the process dynamics of Composition No. 77H must be viewed in its composite and separate sense—because the success (and secrets) of a given participation is not separate from whether or not it can be approached from its composite and isolated components.  A given performance of this material should contain either a soft or loud high sound application of its variables or a low sound examination (in some manner) during the course of the 'projected' music.  All of these variables were conceived so that the music could flow and breathe properly.  The interpreter in the final analysis must decide on what solution is most relevant (because all of these matters are vibrational) but it is expected that the use of sound register isolation must be considered in some form.  Either this is done or the interpreter has transcended the context of the music (and this is neither good nor bad—depending on the occasion or the objective).  Composition No. 77H is a vibrational discipline challenge for the creative instrumentalist—on the road to uncovering the 'layers' of the music (and the all-cosmic purpose of existence).

The final conceptual objective of Composition No. 77H involves positioning a slow pulse application of its material and vibrational dynamics.  This is a sensitive subject area that must be written on in general terms so as to not violate any one relationship to postulation tendencies and individual creative dynamics.  The concept of a slow pulse idea focus in the infra-reality context of Composition No. 77H has to do with the presence and fullness of the music.  To really experience the nature of Composition No. 77H is to become open to the dynamics of its material complex mixture (as a basis to gain insight into what those variables can signify for spiritual and vibrational consciousness).  The reality of this phenomenon cannot be understood in only one pulse seqence or sound emphasis.  Of course the concept of silence (and/or space) is easy to describe but difficult to translate into a fixed strategy because every person's concept of this variable is personal.  As such the concept of perceived slow pulse improvisation must be written on in a general way that emphasizes its unified vibrational properties—without becoming too complex.  The instrumentalist in criterion number four is asked to position the use of a slow pulse adaptation of Composition No. 77H's material complex—somewhere in the forward body of its developing improvisation.  This effort should be established as a conceptual music section that deviates from the normal thrust of the perceived improvisation.  To enter Composition No. 77H is to become conscious of a 'way of living'—or a way of 'sound thought.' 

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Anthony Braxton, Composition Notes D (Frog Peak, 1988: 222-230)