Insights: Aperghis – Recitation 9

Héloïse on learning the Aperghis:

“How on earth did you memorise all this?”

This is always the first question I get from people who’ve watched me perform this piece. Well, the trick comes from the way the ‘music’ is written; it looks like this:

Aperghis score

Now, you may think this looks incredibly complicated, but once you get it, it really isn’t. If you follow the ‘score’ line by line, you’ll realise that at the start of every line, a new bit of text or sound is added. So it’s just a matter of memorising the fragments and in which order they come.

However, although Aperghis’ score is very clearly notated, a lot is also left open for interpretation and so I came up with my own narrative. This, for me, was the most fun and fascinating phase of the learning process. But I won’t reveal what this narrative is – it would take away from the fact that interpretation is left open to the audience as much as to the performer…