As both an instrumentalist and composer, Pavone has regularly and thematically explored tactile experience in her compositions and performances. This is most notable in her solo viola music, where she performs indeterminate pieces that stem from years of concentrated long tone practice, my interest in repetition, song form, sympathetic vibration, and the physicality of playing my somewhat larger-than-comfortable instrument. Founded in 2017, The Jessica Pavone String Ensemble combines these two modalities as an ensemble she both compose for, and performs in as a violist. The foundation of Pavone’s compositions for the ensemble is her research into Cymatics or the effects of sonic vibration on human physiology and emotional health. Sustained sounds, pitches, and clusters of ensemble sounds are used to generate specific physical and cognitive benefits, beyond the aesthetic response to the music.
Pavone both borrows from and elaborates upon traditional notation and improvisatory techniques. She experiments with ways of alternating between metered and clock-time approaches, as well as improvised and notated instructions. Pavone often relies on a digital clock as a conductor to mark sections, duration, and cues. Indicated time frames on the score direct musicians to move freely between sections creating an overlap of sonic textures. These textures and improvisations can sometimes land in an entirely different notated section of music within a given composition.
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Intriguing, enchanting and terrifying all at once. To me it's the perfect soundtrack I'd envision for waking up in a strange nation and not knowing the name of the place, or any contextual understanding about the culture, or even remembering how you got there in the first place. It has the capacity to be a negative or positive experience in equal measure, a testament to the two talented women behind this record. Ben Harris