Counterinduction as a term is coined by philosopher and ‘scientific anarchist’ Paul Feyerabend; counterinduction is the opposite of induction, it is not doing something that is illogical; rather it is doing the opposite of what is logical. It is not an ill-advised choice, it is the choice that most strongly stands against all advisements.
Counterinduction articulates an idea that has been a foundational part of c)i’s approach since its inception. We work by small means for large effect; our pianos are forte, silences loud—by this focusing of our action, we will have an impact asymmetrical to its scale.
The new-music ensemble counter)induction was established in 1999, which means the group's existence predates my journalistic trek in New York City by a little more than a year. Thus, they've always been a fixture in the ecosystem I've worked to chronicle, a hardy band of composers and performers, whose labors I've admired individually and collectively.
The passage quoted above comes from a blog entry on the group's website; my best surmise from context is that it was written by Douglas Boyce, one of the group's foundational trio of member composers along with Kyle Bartlett and Ryan Streber. Now, 20 years on, there's a fourth: Jessica Meyer, the group's long-serving violist, has emerged as a composer to be reckoned with.
The version of counter)induction seen and heard in the video embedded above is an extra-large one, practically a chamber orchestra, surrounding the consistently extraordinary violinist Miranda Cuckson in Tethys, a gorgeous concerto-esque composition by Boyce. The performance was filmed in 2016 at Tenri Cultural Center in Manhattan, a regular home base for the ensemble.
In contrast, the complement counter)induction will field this Friday, January 31, for "Against Method," a 20th-anniversary celebration at ShapeShifter Lab in Brooklyn, will be comparatively compact. Bartlett, Boyce, Meyer, and Streber all have pieces on the program, which is completed with Mystic Fragments, by Mark Rimple.
The occasion is an auspicious one—and, whether you saw my New Yorker listing for the concert or not, it's very important to note that, due to last-minute venue issues, the concert will start at 9:30pm, not 7pm as billed.
You'll find further counter)induction performances of compositions by Bartlett and Streber on the group's YouTube channel, and brief, tantalizing snippets from pieces scheduled for this Friday's concert on its Instagram feed.