Second Skull is an experimental gesamtkunstwerk. Three ensembles interlock: textual drama, fully notated music, and improvised music. We will see thought reflect off of a wall, we will see that wall vibrate, we will hear a disturbance, because sound is a thought that is outside your head, but you can also hear thoughts that are inside your head. When walls are built to contain thought, as they are in prisons throughout modernity, the written word can store it, transmit it to friends and accomplices outside who amplify, make into sound. Thought in action (the (re-)animation of gesture), or the collectivity of sound, undermines the intentions of carceral states. In the drama, we speak out voices of militants who the United States would like to keep silent.

In this theater, we are also taking an emancipatory position for the long game. In order to integrate resistance and struggle with a picture of the future, the left has to assert that it is free from something while asserting that it is free to do something else. Struggle and utopia are one large cognitive machine, and an attempt at mapping it onto the stage can increase our understanding of how we are oriented in it. Second Skull is a picture of a social brain. Second Skull is an integration of negative and positive freedom.

Texts by Herman Wallace, Laboria Cuboniks, Mumia Abu Jamal, the -ing-ing braintrust of literary strategies, and Russell Maroon Shoatz.

“You’re peering into a brain as thoughts organize themselves; amplify themselves; gain traction; after that you zoom out to where there’s multiple people: they represent thoughts,” he said, “as do the lights.”



08.14.15 Happy House, premieres

Email for scores/recordings- sothis.ensemble [ ] gmail

from sublight by jesse austin 3

sublight by Jesse Austin
“Begin on any page. You may play the modules on the page in any order”. The composer writes to us in the appendix to the score, telling us that the piece is rigorously aleatoric. Jesse thinks in terms of computation and a jazz ensemble. He once told me that when he met Christian Wolff, he said “I think you’re doing a theory of information and transits”. Wolff disagreed. “Each cue works off the tempo of the other players. Each cue will call for a reaction to another voice. These cues are entirely auditory. It does not matter what tempo the other player thinks they are performing. It only matters what you, as a player perceive as the tempo they are playing. […] You are part of an acoustic and informational feedback loop. The performance of this piece is the real time working out and exploration of this loop. Sublight is for piano, guitar, and a supercollider patch.

diaphragm by Andie Cirulis. “try not to notice the pulse“. Andie’s piano solo might not sound like anything. It isn’t really for listening, it’s for playing. “play everything silently as much as possible. this is not a free pass to not-play, but an incitement to a mode of playing that focuses on the body and the experience of performance without regard to the sound produced.” The piece is for Mike (the pianist)

commerce without territory by me. I saw Chris play Takemitsu’s Air in the spring of 2014, and immediately began scheming. I had read Timothy McCormack’s masters’ thesis in 2013, which dug beneath instrumental production of sound as a given and scrutinized the mechanics that synchronize human + instrument. I mainly wanted to build my way toward a robust picture of cybernetic commerce, to determine exactly how sub-musical utterances get swept up into the legitimacy of sound. It’s a precapitalist society of flute.

Chris will be skyping in from Europe.

These are all very good friends of mine. I happen to think my closest colleagues are the deepest researchers + practitioners out there. I really think you should come.
thanks for reading

-quinn dougherty – guitarist, curator, composer