Call for Performers: RMA Conference

The study group have successfully proposed a themed session for the RMA’s 53rd Annual Conference at the University of Liverpool. The conference takes place from Thursday 7th until Saturday 9th September 2017 and the session will take place on Saturday 9th September from 14.00-15.30

Performers are invited to take part in the session in two of the pieces that will be presented. These are:

Sophie Stone “As Sure As Time…” (2016, for any number of speaking voices; performance directed by the composer)


Mathias Spahlinger eigenzeit from vorschläge (1992-3, for any number of performers with objects; performance directed by Alistair Zaldua)

Programme notes for both pieces are below.

If you would like to join one or both of the performances in the session, please contact Lauren Redhead <> who will be chairing the session, by 30th June 2017.

Anyone who attends the RMA conference, including those who perform in the session need to register. Unfortunately, the study group is unable to offer funds to support this. The conference fees are very reasonable, particularly the ‘early bird’ rates, and a discount is offered for members of the RMA. Details of the conference and fees can be found here:

“As sure as time…” is part of an ongoing series of performances that use the same score. It is a spoken word piece that can be performed by one to four vocalists, and includes a variety of structural elements, sound/vocal techniques and movements. The score consists of a quote from Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman (London: William Heinemann, 2015): “As sure as time, history is repeating itself, and as sure as man is man, history is the last place he’ll look for his lesson”. The work allows for performer interpretation with the vocalist performing an individual compositional process; where there are several performers, several compositional processes occur simultaneously. Rather than a traditional concert performance, the listener should experience the work as an installation in a gallery or other environment, allowing them to explore the environment as they wish to, talk and enter/leave when they like. When observed in its entirety, the series presents a new sense of extended duration with long silences separating the performances and the totality being the performance of the work itself. The work also highlights the numerous interpretations of silence as silences of unpredictable length are used within the performances and between each performance; the interpretation of silence is thus questioned as it never truly exists.

eigenzeit is one of over 25 concepts contained in Mathias Spahlinger’s work (written in 1993) vorschläge (suggestions). The instructions read:

“find or invent possible objects or performance methods that are barely modifiable regarding their tempo, rhythm, and total duration; and which, once they have begun, cannot be further influenced; and whose processes cannot be reversed.

examples and suggestions: circling plates and cymbals, falling ping-pong balls, pendulating giant feathers, buzzing/snapping a ruler held over a table-edge, marbles thrown over a marble lane, rubber balls thrown down the stairs, etc.

each player decides by themselves when to play, and how they ‘stage’ their unique, and unmistakable sounds, bearing in mind their approximate duration. frequent accumulation of density and vain repetitions are to be avoided.” (Translation: Alistair Zaldua)