The Complete Syllables Music is the first collected edition of trumpet experimentalist Nate Wooley’s groundbreaking solo compositions. His attempt to sidestep a positive/negative value based musical aesthetic and to expand his own preconceptions of what the trumpet tone should be led him to the construction of a new compositional language, based on adjusting the physical parameters of how one makes sound. This new way of thinking was based on the shape and positioning of the oral cavity necessary to produce the phonetic sounds in speech; using the International Phonetic Alphabet as a new kind of tone-row to create structures on the position of the teeth, tongue, throat and nasal cavity. The result is an approach to the sound of the trumpet that is involved in neither traditional nor extended technique, but treats virtuosity as a non-issue.
The beautiful box set, designed by Lasse Marhaug features the first two works in this vein, reissued from out of print recordings on the Peira and Mnoád labels and is capped off with the most ambitious, and final solo version of the Syllables pieces, the 150 minute long electro-acoustic masterpiece For Kenneth Gaburo. Besides the music, there is a full booklet of essays along with a separate book of all the scores from the recorddings.