Glass is musical landscape art in which inside and outside spaces, performed music and indeterminate environmental sounds create an overarching, audio-visual composed space. All sounds are performed, produced or captured live, at the spot, during the performance, by performers, passers-by, birds, the wind, etc. Performers play music instruments but they also carry around microphones to pick up environmental sounds or fragments, played on the music instruments. The performance mixes 'natural' (un-amplified) sounds with sounds captured and reproduced by different types of microphones and speakers. It is difficult to document such an in situ performance and describe these subtle differences or the experience of (not) seeing and (not) hearing things happening simultaneously. Therefor this page contains a mixture of photos, audio recording and text to do this.
This is the situation at the beginning of the Glass performance at the Oortreders festival: The picture above shows the audience location a few days before the concert. At the beginning of the performance the audience is sitting in a wide corridor of a sports hall, looking at a landscape with a street, parking lot, sports field and trees. Behind the audience is a sports hall (you hear people playing), the door to the outside street and parking lot is 10 meters away from the audience, so the audience also hears outdoor sounds if these doors are opened. Two performers are inside with the audience: one is performing on the main mixer, the other is playing keyboard (see pictures below, all performers wear a yellow t-shirt). Another performer is standing outside, on a parking lot, right in front of the windows and the audience. He is carrying (and monitoring) a pair of omnidirectional condensator microphones.
Above is the audio recording of the Glass performance. You can listen to the whole recording above (the last minutes of the recording has cracks caused by the wireless system), in the following text I describe the first 8 minutes in detail. The time indications refer to sections of this recording.
The keyboard player starts the performance by suddenly playing a chord, the mixer performer turns on the pair of microphones from the microphone-performer at the parking lot, in front of the audience.
0m20s : The microphones fade out and the mixer-performer starts to fade in another pair of microphones, these are located outdoor, on a fixed location at the right side of the audience building. Simultaneously the keyboard performer plays very soft, high chords and walks -inside the audience space- from one side of the corridor to the other (picture above).
0m55s : the percussion player is walking outdoor and playing a flexatone. He passes by the fixed microphones and becomes audible through the speakers, a bit later the audience sees him arriving from the right side of the windows. The percussion (flexatone) performer continues to walk and reaches the central position at the parking lot, in front of the audience where the microphone performer is standing. (picture above)
2m40s : the percussion performer starts playing on a pan with water and walks to the door (to the inside, audience location), his sound becomes softer as he walks away from the microphone performer.
( 3m09s : a woman passes by and becomes audible as she walks past the microphone performer )
3m20s : the percussion performer enters the audience space while playing and becomes acoustically audible for the audience
4m00s : the percussion and keyboard players play together in front of the audience.
4m15s : a microphone in the sports hall (behind the audience) becomes audible through a speaker at the back of the audience, the keyboard player is performing long chords.
4m45s : simultaneously the microphone player has started walking to the right side of the building. This is close to a music school (some windows are open and you hear music fragments...)
4m57s : suddenly the percussion performer plays again, at the audience location, and starts to walk away from the audience, further away in the corridor.
5m15s : the outdoor microphones become audible again (a passer-by starts a car and the car leaves the parking lot in front of the audience).
5m35s : the percussion player in the corridor is playing while he walks away, there is more and more reverb from this distant corridor position (picture above). While you hear the distant percussion player, the keyboard player is still playing chords (through the speakers) and microphones capturing environmental sounds are played back through the speakers
7m40s : the percussion player suddenly plays loud from the distant corridor position. The keyboard player is still playing in front of the audience (picture above). The microphone performer has changed position: now he stands at an indoor location (a vending machine with drinks becomes audible).
...the performance (and the audio recording) continue for another 12 minutes.. The following pictures suggest the general lines in the second half.