The music for The Light Show is based on a series of structured improvisations performed using Garton’s Drift Theory – each performer creates a unique movement based on a common set of themes agreed to by the collective. These themes are generally allocated to each performer at random, who then compose their movements in isolation from each other.
When performed each movement, generally no more than 2 – 3 minutes in length, are performed one after the other with leading, or 2 minute drift sequences where one movement is gradually introduced as the prior movement is completed. In these drift sequences both performers improvise their introductions and / or conclusions.
At the end of the cycle all musicians complete the composition by performing interpretations of their movements with each other, often taking from 15 – 20 minutes to complete.
Here is a sample of compositions utilising the Drift Theory, performed by various iterations of Garton’s international Terminal Quartet.