Back when I was roommates with Chris "Isto"
White, we devised a musical game that we referred to simply as
"The Game." Based on one process and very few rules, The Game is very similar to the memory game Simon.
At the beginning of a session
of The Game, one of us will choose and play a note on our instrument
(me with a Casio SK-1 - which gives us 2 and a half octaves of possible
notes from F to C - and Chris with his acoustic guitar). The other will repeat
this note and then add a new one. This process continues until we agree
that the session is complete. Neither of us communicates verbally about
our selection of each subsequent note. Depending on our moods, a given
string of notes can demonstrate vastly different levels of
motivic/organizational cohesion (anywhere from a sing-songy melody to
sheer randomness). A session can involve any number of notes. The new
string of notes is rehearsed, committed to memory, and appended to the
existing strings of notes. When we perform the string of notes, we do not
deviate from a uniform rhythmic pulse and velocity of attack.
At no point during the duration of The Game can any portion of it be
recorded or documented in any way. Over a period of about six months beginning in 2009, Chris and I had amassed well over 1000
notes. Due to an unfortunately prolonged sabbatical
from The Game, they lost at least a few hundred of the most recently
added notes to memory's abyss. We performed the surviving 7
or 8 hundred notes we had managed to piece together at the Jalopy Theater on February 20, 2010 to celebrate the release of Isto's 10th CD, Let's Get Friendly.
Chris and I will most likely continue creating and performing some form of The Game into the future.