Ground Control To Gliese

Paul Cutlan clarinets, saxes + FX
Nick Polovineo trombone + FX
Noam Jaffe violin + FX
Colin Bright piano + FX

Ground Control to Gliese is the 1st Syzygy Band Impro piece, a precursor to spACE, which developed these ideas further into a 12 part Impro Structure. Gliese is a planet which is earth-like and considered possibly inhabitable by Earthlings...

The conjunction or opposition of a planet with the sun or of any two of the heavenly bodies.

A pair of connected or corresponding things : animus and anima represent a supreme pair of opposites, the syzygy. This is similar to the interaction between players when improvising - sometimes in conjunction sometimes in opposition!

Pitch organisation within a spacio-temporal framework with symmetric or asymmetric pulse.

The score is a suggestion towards structure as well as offering pitch & rhythm material. 

Players may draw material from any stave & add their own material to the score. The collation of ideas in the score are intended to give the improvisation a cohesiveness. 

Pitch centers suggest a degree of stasis, i.e. they are the pitch focus for some period of time - then the pitch center may change, leading to a series of pitch centers - a plateaux of pitch centers. 

The ideas are meant as a point of departure. But some degree of respecting the suggested material is important in the beginning.  

A degree of cohesiveness IS the point of structure from a composer’s pint of view. That is to say, the spirit of the ‘idea’ should be maintained. However, the voice of the improvisor is equally important.  And, naturally, experienced improvisors will go beyond this - as they see fit!

There may be or may not be pulse. There may be constant rhythm as in a beat i.e drums, percussion, electronic beat etc...

The info for each section focuses on the designated ‘solo’ and support material.


is not like a jazz ‘solo’ but it is also not not. It is a way of thinking  - informed by the jazz tradition - of a particular player  being the central focus and the other players beingsupportive, i.e. with rhythm and pitch, or nothing!  Also, as in jazz, pitch centers are a point of reference, but conceivably no-one is playing that central pitch. Nevertheless, it is THE point of reference.

Supportive functions may be: -

e.g.reinforcing the central pitch material - with pulse or not
textural material
chords, multiphonics, harmonics, etc, creating color
rhythmic reiteration
at the end of the ‘soloists’ phrases
canonic imitation
of the phrases played by the ‘soloist’
that ‘adds’ to the impro
Example Score Example Score Syzygy band Syzygy band