Track-by-Track: R. Weis – Cassette Assembled Scores for Dance: 1991 – 1993
Track-by-Track: R. Weis – Cassette Assembled Scores for Dance: 1991 – 1993

Track-by-Track: R. Weis – Cassette Assembled Scores for Dance: 1991 – 1993

R. Weis - Cassette Assembled Scores for Dance

Handing over the mic to artists/musicians who break down their new albums track by track/share the thought process behind the creation. Today we’ll hear from R. Weis, sound artist currently based in Pittsburgh, PA, whose CD Cassette Assembled Scores for Dance: 1991 – 1993 is out now on UK label TQ N-Aut.

Here’s what Pittsburgh City Paper had to say about R. Weis and his work back in 2011:

Where much of what’s called “noise” today serves to obscure notions of music and its palatability to the average ear, Weis’ project is sort of the opposite: He takes noise samples he’s recorded (“Used Wad of Painter’s Tape Hitting Aluminum Trash Can,” “Two Cardboard Tubes Dropping”) and, by manipulating them, makes something rhythmic and cohesive that is essentially pleasant, if oddball, music.

Visit our archives to hear/read more stories!

Shattering Light

“Shattering Light” was the third of my 7 collaborations with choreographer Jaime Ortega. It’s a modular piece for 7 dancers, so the score and dance modules could be rearranged and recombined. This is the version presented in the series “Movement Research at the Judson Church,” New York City, 1991. It features vocal samples of countertenor Jeffrey Martin.


After reading “American Psycho,” Jaime proposed the idea of a dance about an archetypal serial killer. “Vicious” was not meant to be enjoyed, rather to be a creepy sonic experience. To be true to the theme, I realized the piece had to hurt the listener somehow. Some sounds will cut very close to your ears. Choreographed for solo male in a costume of black strapping, the dancer exhibited qualities of both killer and victims. Presented at Performance Space 122 (now Performance Space New York), New York City, 1993.


“Firewalk” was composed to be a constantly-evolving, ritual-like journey choreographed for 7 dancers. At the dance’s conclusion, they ecstatically began to remove their billowing, gem-toned costumes. Originally presented in 1991 at Performance Space 122, it features samples of countertenor Jeffrey Martin as well as samples of antique African ritual instruments, like gongs and whistles, I was collecting at the time.


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