Pulse Track Structures:
Pulse track horizontal structural systems have Increasingly become 'a way of life' for my quartet music - and this has been a gradual attraction - starting with composition 23G (which emphasized sound point attacks or quarter note based rhythmic stresses - in the sound space of the music - as a basis for extended solo improvisation). The concept of pulse tracks in this context refers to the use of extended structural devices (moments) that are approached as fixed metric sound events in the same sense as in vertical harmony (i.e. be-bop) - but directed instead at the 'forward space' of the music - that being structural events which are positioned into the space of the music - to be repeated as a continuum that supports (and defines) the nature of the unfolding invention (music). The reality of this context seeks to establish a unified open and controlled sound space (environment) that hopefully allows for fresh experiences to happen (and there's nothing complex about that intention).
Four of the compositions on this record are designed with respect to the challenge (and excitement) of pulse track structural dynamics and it is my hope to extend this way of music making into the future (as one more approach that can be used or discarded - depending on whatever is possible or not possible - for whatever). For this project I have included 4 different categories of pulse track structures so that the listener might hopefully gain some sense of the diversity of this operating criterion. ,
Composition No. 114(+ 108A) is a synchronous complex that establishes three independent sound (thought) continuums as a basis for extended improvisation (solo and collective). This is a C Major axis sound forum that seeks to provide a 'jumping off' or 'centering' point for extended improvisation.
Composition No. 115 is an accordion sound space context that stretches and contracts tl)e sound space - as a basis for extended improvisation. Pulse track structuring in this context involves an elastic rhythm section against an independent track system for piano (to be used under the saxophone solo during "comping").
Composition No. 110A (+ 106B) seeks to emphasize curve sound dynamics (positioned in this context for the bass and percussion) as a basis for extended improvisation. There are no solos in this version but rather a mosaic of changing impressions (and feelings).
Composition No. 116 is a multiple sound space structure that establishes an inter-complex of fixed and open moments. Pulse track structuring in this effort involves independent structures for both the piano and reeds - as well as synchronised bass and percussion track.
I have also included 2 impressionistic ballade structures on this record (both of which were written for my wife, Nickie).
To really experience this music in the way I have intended, the listener should always think in terms of three independent continuums - that are fitted together in the same sound space ("find the three inter-action 'natures' and the 'key' of the context can be penetrated"). There are, of course, extended notes on these works and hopefully this information will one day be made available.
All six works are examined in Composition Notes Book E - but at this point in time I have no idea of a release date.
Finally, I would like to thank Marilyn Crispell, John Lindberg and Gerry Hemingway for their contributions on this record. After all is plotted and theorized it is still the musicians who must in the final analysis 'make the music live'. I could not have been more fortunate in this regard. This record then documents (and gives a cross section of) my quartet music in the middle 1984 time cycle.
Anthony Braxton New Haven, Ct December 27,1984
All Music Guide