PMP is an ongoing experiment in musical cohabitation with large improvising ensembles. The project’s conceptual springboard is Immanuel Kant’s essay “Zum Ewigen Frieden: ein Philosophischer Entwurf.” This text proposed a path to lasting peace among perpetually warring nations through an international federation of states. (It later influenced the UN Charter and EU Constitution.) My project embraces Kant’s idea that hospitality, publicity (transparency), and perpetuality (sustainability) – and the often contentious work it takes to maintain them – are a bedrock for life in which there is room for everyone and everything.
Rather than providing my own scores, materials, or aesthetic for an ensemble to unite around, as “the composer” I play the role of a sympathetic agitator in workshops with the musicians. I propose exercises, discussions, and graphic and verbal scores by a variety of artists (including the musicians themselves) in order to provoke difference in and reflection on what the musicians’ own individual ways of playing. In turn, they find new collective resources which we fold back into the work process en route to a kind of perpetual musical piece/peace.
In performance, there is no fixed seating. Musicians are free to move around the space and the audience moves with them. Although they follow a mutually agreed upon temporal structure, the musicians migrate among subgroups spontaneously. Sound and space become a question of belonging.