Robert van Heumen Composer Improvisor Laptop-Instrumentalist Sound-Designer
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Shackle Affair: Organ / part names

For this composition I will use the Shackle System as a way to structure the piece. This system is basically a visual cueing system, proposing parts for the performers to play, giving them the option to cancel proposals and request new ones. In the way we use it in Shackle, the proposals and lenght of the parts is chosen in a weighted random fashion by the system. This makes it very flexible and surprising, also for us as players. For this piece I will probably make it a bit less surprising, possibly by setting a specific order but still letting the players decide when to go on to the next one. Or limiting the number of 'cancels' for each player, so that they will have to think hard if they really want to cancel the next proposal. To be determined.

I've actually composed 10 (or 11) parts already, and in the process of finetuning them. I will keep the rules for each part a secret for now, but below is a list of the names, plus explanations. All searched for in connection with 'shackle' - limiting one's possibilities. And then soon you get into darker territory...

  • Fetter (a chain or manacle used to restrain a prisoner, typically placed around the ankles)
  • Trammel (poetic/literary: a restriction or impediment to someone's freedom of action)
  • Bilboes (an iron bar with sliding shackles formerly used for confining a prisoner's ankles)
  • Crackdown (severe measures to restrict or discourage undesirable or illegal people or behavior)
  • Tether (the horse had been tethered to a post)
  • Yoke (Dutch: juk / a wooden crosspiece that is fastened over the necks of two animals and attached to the plow or cart that they are to)
  • Halter (a rope or strap with a noose or headstall placed around the head of a horse or other animal, used forleading or tethering it / archaic: a rope with a noose for hanging a person)
  • Bridle (a horse's bridle)
  • Manacle (handcuffs)