Shaken Not Stuttered is a free online resource demonstrating the extended techniques for strings. The site provides high definition videos with excellent sound quality to catalogue the extended techniques, primarily as a resource for performers, but also for the greater new music community and audience members to get a behind the scenes look at the sounds happening on stage.
In order to achieve these techniques, composers often works one on one with performers. However, they cannot always be available to work with every member of an ensemble, especially in an orchestral setting when rehearsal time is limited. As a way to address this problem, Andrew Norman and Anne Leilehua Lanzilotti decided to create this resource in order to allow performers to have a more organic way of learning the techniques (the site was originally built to focus on the techniques used in Norman’s string trio The Companion Guide to Rome).
The main videos are mini master classes in which the composer describes his inspirations behind the techniques, gives a short explanation of how to achieve the specific sound he wants, and demonstrates on the viola. Lanzilotti then performs the techniques filmed from different angles so that the viewer may observe both hands, different nuances, and details in executing the technique. The review videos show only the notation and different close-up views of the techniques for further study.
Many of the extended techniques involve choices on the part of the performer. This element of choice is vital to the interpretation of Norman's music, especially in a piece like Play. As techniques are added to the site, it becomes clear that this element of listening and being active in creating sound is crucial for many of these composers. In an interview for New Music Box Norman states:
...I really love seeing people make choices and taking risks on stage...to take a risk, to have a definite idea about the interpretation of a piece. ...To me, the heart and soul of written music is about creating something with enough depth and complexity, but also enough openness in it to allow for many different realizations. ...And that has also led me into really exploring this idea of human interaction in music. How can I open up that space on the written page for human beings to be human beings when they play music?
The site will soon be expanded as a part of The 20/19 Project to include technique videos for composers Anna Thorvaldsdottir and Scott Wollschleger!