Late Works: at first sight


A quintet - led by the voice-like cello and saxophone - “read” improvised writings “a prima vista” from their music stands.

The process is initiated by five writers responding to the quintet tuning up. These responses are then placed on the music stands for them to respond to for roughly 15 minutes. The writers have the duration of the piece to respond, with the writing placed in front of the quintet again.

The process is repeated another three times, with the writing and the music moving back and forth in conversation. The final writing is left as the starting point for the next event.


• (music) sight-read; to perform a musical piece while reading it for the first time, without rehearsal.

In collaboration with:


• The writers respond on A5 cards which are blank, unlined and have a line and a box for the writer’s initials and number of the response (T) (1) (2) (3) (4).

• Once each performance is over, the writings must be collected from the music stands to make way for the incoming written responses.

• The cello and saxophone are the core instruments, and there can be up to three other instruments added to compile a quintet. Preferably this quintet would be cello, viola, violin, piano & saxophone.

• The audience are encouraged to write their own responses - they will not be used for the music, but shown afterwards in documentation.

• The titles for the songs are chosen mostly ‘at first sight’ upon looking at the finished writings, with one title coming from each writer. The titles name the songs they inspire, not that they are in response to.