The Golem is a system which presents four guitarists sitting face to face in the form of a cross. The piece is played in dim and rather warm light. The performance space should be open and the seats (or those seated) should be mobile to allow an arrangement whereby the public, surrounding the musicians, are able to move during the piece if they want a change of viewpoint on the ‘sound sculpture’.
The acoustic guitars have no strings at the beginning of the piece; there is just the wood of the instruments. The playing-out of the system consists in progressively attaching strings, of various gauges, and sometimes borrowed from other instruments, to the guitars, and weaving links between them.
The guitars being attached to each other by strings allows a novel play of tension between the participants, who have constantly to make adaptations. The physical interdependance which takes hold generates ways of playing only possible within this system. The musicians react in real time to a configuration which ceaselessly evolves by the addition of new links decided on by one or more members. The network of attachments is not worked out in advance, allowing for a continual renewal of the playing conditions, and preserving the ‘experimental’ and ‘experiential’ aspect of the piece.
Each time the musicians together find new ways of sounding the Golem, who comes to life accepting the impossibility of control imposed by the system.
The music is born from the sounds obtained by tension, but also by setting the strings in vibration with the hands and with the aid of selected objects, bows etc.
The Golem is originally an ‘acoustic’ piece for more-or-less intimate surroundings (a maximum audience of 100), but an amplified version could be envisaged using microphones and a system of sound-diffusion, if the equipment is supplied and appropriate to the place.
Thanks to Martin Hackett for the translation.