BUTCH MORRIS: Leadership Without Scores
Friday, 09 December, 2011
Lawrence D. “Butch” Morris is recognized internationally as the principal theorist and practitioner in the evolution of Conduction, and a leading innovator in the confluence of jazz, new music, improvisation and contemporary classical music. Mr. Morris’s work redefines the roles of composer, conductor, arranger and performer, and bridges the gap between the composer, interpreter and improviser. Since 1974, his career has been distinguished by unique and outstanding international contributions to television, film, theater, dance, radio, interdisciplinary collaborations, concerts and recordings.
He has worked with the leading musicians and composers, choreographers, visual artists, writers, theater and film directors and performers. As a composer, he is widely known for his notated compositions and has been especially acclaimed for pioneering and developing the art of Conduction: The practice of conveying and interpreting a lexicon of directives to modify or construct sonic arrangement or composition; a structure- content exchange between composer /conductor /instrumentalist that provides immediate possibility to alter or initiate harmony, melody, rhythm, tempo, progression, articulation, phrasing or form by manipulating pitch, dynamics (volume/intensity/density), timbre, duration, silence and order in real-time.
Directives (idiographic signs and gestures) ‘signify’ the parameters of interpretation and demonstrate a precision and flexibility that may be utilized by all musical forms, styles and traditions. Conduction demonstrates possibilities that do not exist in the education or knowledge of the musical cannon or its pedagogy.
Employing more than 5000 musicians in 19 countries and 87 cities, resulting in 27 recorded documents over a 25-year period, Conduction has amply demonstrated its capacity for cultural diplomacy by uniting communities and serving as a powerful example of a new social logic based on collective interpretation and personal interaction.