This exercise explores the use of mycology and chance operation to develop a dance score and archive of site-specific field recordings inspired by the work of artist/composer John Cage.
Keep a rain diary, noting when it rains and the level of precipitation. Record the sounds of the rain to initiate a sound archive. On a day after it rains, begin to walk your neighborhood, or local park. Gaze, careen and look closely at the landscape for evidence of decay and mushroom growth. Look particularly for mulch piles, shady undergrowth, fallen logs, or wild meadows. Begin to consider the rhythms of chance in the dates collected, amount of precipitation recorded and length of each storm. (Consult the I-Ching)
Use your rain diary to generate a sequence of numbers. Use this sequence as a reference for developing a dance score. For instance you might walk 3 paces forward, 2 back, and 4 to the side. Or spend 2 minutes walking toward the north, 7 minutes to the south etc. Think carefully about Cage’s idea of indeterminate composition, and chance operation. If a mushroom is discovered, begin the sequence again, or invent something new altogether. Keep a diary of any specimens identified and notate your score by marking your movement.
This exercise was contributed by Christopher Kennedy (http://www.christopherleekennedy.com).