From the preface to the score:
Mbrsi is a document from which scores are drawn - a repository of material which describes a constellation of related realizations.
Formally, Mbrsi contains twelve parallel streams of granularized tablature, to be executed by some combination of one or more string players. The tablature treats all string instruments as functionally equivalent and interchangeable (meanwhile, the realities of idiom manifest as unique deformations on the local performance level).
During Mbrsi’s development, this ambiguity of ensemble precipitated a despecification of many other aspects of the work - first pitch, registration and tuning, later temp, duration and structure itself - out of a desire to approach something like a “logical conclusion”.
The increasingly ambiguous surface nature of the work acted like a metaphorical hat-tip to the formal probabilities underlying its construction. That underlying material was generated from a sort of “stochastic fabric”: a collection of two-dimensional noise functions, moving through time (data as video), each sliced into twelve “parallel” probability tables, such that adjacent tablature streams possess similarly weighted distributions of activity along each of their formalized parameters.
Developing a performance then is an act of pulling a (relatively) fixed realization from a cloud of possible musics. The organizing party builds a score from a fragment or group of fragments, to suit the intended ensemble, duration and setting. Longer, uninterrupted swaths, with larger ensembles will render more obviously processual sound masses, while smaller and more deliberately edited versions will expose the fractured, erratic counterpoint of a sparse grain cloud.
A full performance could be drawn out of only a single sheet, as a small ensemble piece in miniature, as a solo cutting between parallel streams, or by extending material through collage - literally cutting and pasting together a new larger score.
The title, Mbrsi, is a contraction of the Japanese maboroshi, which means chimera, mirage, or illusion. I was inspired by Hirokazu Koreeda’s film Maboroshi no hikari (“illusion of light”). I nearly gave up writing music entirely while working on this piece and, to this day, I’ve never finished writing the full score.