TASK [2020 - ]


an ongoing collection of tasks to complete

I: STAND (2020)


for any number of humans willing to attempt 


for amplified surface



In this iteration of THRESHOLD a contact microphone is attached to the strings of an (otherwise un-amplified) electric guitar. Off camera, I contort my body into an uncomfortable/unstable position (hunched over, elbows high in the air and splayed far out, resting my chin on my knees, balancing my weight on my toes...) and my hands into stiff, unorthodox shapes. I lower my hands to the point where the slightest perturbation of my balance or the most minute involuntary tremor of my hand will cause contact between the fingers and strings. My goal is to maintain this position as long as possible and to expel any conscious intent from my hands, simply allowing them to involuntarily engage the surface.  As my body becomes fatigued from the demanding posture, the tremors increase in intensity and frequency; when I can no longer continue the piece ends. The contact microphone amplifies this precarious occupation of the sound/silence threshold and the resistance of my body.

TASK is a collection of scenarios which present commonplace physical/perceptual acts in odd, challenging, and paradoxical lights. For instance, give this a try…attempt to get out of your chair, as normally as possible, without making a single sound. You may have found that, when coupled with this goal, the mundane procedure of standing becomes frustratingly difficult. The micro-posturing necessary to maintain silence is foregrounded as we unnaturally slow our actions and inconspicuously redistribute our weight. When the inevitable failure (involuntary tremors, micro-movements) inherent in this task occur, fragile blips and unstable sounds arise from a tensely energetic silence. Physical processes which normally operate outside consciousness become amplified.

These tasks can be performed by anyone interested in attempting (most of them require no performance experience). Performances do not necessarily need to be documented through recording, filming, photography, writing, etc. (although they certainly can be), as the personal experience and reflection upon one's perception is the main intent. If you do wish to document and/or share your experience please contact me at ryan@ryancarraher.com


for any number of participants willing to use their voice


 © 2020 by Ryan Carraher

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Composer :: Guitarist :: Improviser