Ryoko Akama has just released a new cd, senu hima, on melange edition containing a new piece I wrote for her alongside work by Sarah Hughes, Jürg Frey and Antoine Beuger. My piece, overlay (with transience), is specifically for a recorded realisation. It asks the performer to make a specified number of sounds throughout a 15-minute duration. The performer makes many additional recordings over a period of months, each time attempting to match what was played the first time, but without reference to any of the previous recordings. The piece actively explores the performer’s memory, and especially the way in which transience–how we forget information over time–shapes the resultant sequence of sounds. The final recording comprises all the takes aligned and played simultaneously to produce a trace of this process. Ryoko made 15 recordings from April to June 2015, and her version contains a mix of sustained and short sine tones and noise. The score is a framework that shapes the choices of the performer, and once made challenges them to remember their initial decisions. So the material here is entirely Ryoko’s, but the process is determined by the instructions. It’s perhaps one of the most open pieces I’ve made with regards to specifying material, so has a sense of shared endeavour as a result.