Systems of Rhythm
Rhythm - Units
The music I have written
since 1970 represents two types of systems that I have utilized
in my music; the systems of rhythm - units and ahkreanvention.
The rhythm unit concept is one that accepts a single sound or
rhythm, a series of rhythm - sound, or a grouping of more than
one series of sound rhythm as a complete piece of music and thus
need not be so- called developed further to be appreciated as
a whole fresh realized work or piece, IMPROVISATION. The correct
understanding of each unit is: the value given to an audible unit
is followed by the relative equivalence of silence. "Divine
Love" and "Spirituals:
The Language Of Love" are good representations
of the rhythm unit concept.
Since 1971 I have been
concerned with creating alternatives for a world music, one which
utilizes the fundamental laws of improvisation and composition
while retaining a uniqueness of its own. I began to design a notation
system for scoring sound, rhythm and silence, or
for scoring improvisation, a technique I term ahkreanvention.
Ahkreanvention literally means to create and invent musical ideas
simultaneously, utilizing the fundamental laws of improvisation
and composition, Within this system, all of the elements of the
scored music are controlled through symbols designating duration,
improvisation, and moving sounds of different velocities. These
symbols are depicted on two types of staffs sound staffs divided
into low, medium and high, and sound staffs of adjustable sound
partials. Since this system was designed, all of the music I have
worked on has dealt with the philosophical and technical attitude
upon which it is based. "Tastalun"
is an ahkreanvention piece scored for three muted trumpets, and
it represents my experimentation with this system of notation.
In prior years I have been able to record solo ahkreanvention
pieces, but this was the first time I have recorded an ensemble
ahkreanvention piece. My purpose and mission as a creative musician
is to bring about an understanding and appreciation for all the
instruments found throughout the world and to advance the concept
of equality of both the instruments and their creators in the
Leo Smith ,
© 1997-2011 Ishmael Wadada Leo Smith