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Sustain - John Stevens


John Stevens’ ‘Sustain Piece’

performed by 13 piece group consisting of members of the Infinite Monkey Orchestra and Liverpool Improvisation Collective with Maggie Nicols. Recorded on 31st March 2012 at the Bluecoat Arts Centre, presented by Frakture.

Excerpt from the book 

'Sustain Piece' is primarily to do with breathing, Breath is, of course, fundamental to all our activities - without it, the activity is non-existent (and so are we). Here is an opportunity to concentrate on breathing in a relaxed yet intense way, which will involve us, almost as a by-product, in music making. Individually, each person sustains a note which is as long as their breath length. Collectively, the piece sustains itself - although it moves in waves, it sounds continual; because individual breath lengths vary, there will always be some sound.

Brief commentary

  1. The above uses the voice, this can be done with an instrument
  2. Sustain one note for the duration of a breath

More detail to be found in the book: John Stevens, Search and reflect published by Musicroom/Rockschool


  • Search and reflect review on this site -LINK
  • Buy Search and reflect at Musicroom / rockschool page URL LINK
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