Set of open works; version for 10 voices and electronics, 1970.
Song Books (1970) is a voluminous collection of solo compositions following in the vein of two earlier vocal solos by Cage. The first book includes solos 3 to 58, the second book goes from 59 to 92 and the third one contains performance instructions. The solos fall into four categories: 1) for voice, 2) for voice and electronics, 3) theatrical action, 4) actions with electronics. Any subset of the individual solos may be chosen and their performance may overlap without restriction. Some are nothing more than short tunes or pieces of action, but e.g. Solo for Voice 58 (18 microtonal ragas) takes up whole evening and some solos permit the use of instruments The electronic aspect is not determined. Despite great freedom offered by the multifarious types of notation and instructions used, the solos are very tricky to perform, since they require a passionate, but also highly restrained, selfless approach. Song Books may be considered a work of musical surrealism, but one devoid of any psychoanalytical aspects.
*In English with Czech subtitles.