BowMu STUK MoBue
for small, high pitched instruments and live electronics
The performer is allowed to choose the instruments used in this piece. The sections of the piece define the instrumentation that can be used based on how the performer can interact with the instruments. The sections are: Bowed, Muted, Struck, Muted, Bowed. The performer is given a generative graphic score to view and interpret during performance. The sonic results of the performance are sent to a computer for analysis. The computer resynthesizes some of the data obtained during the analysis, in addition to some real-time transformation on the input provided by the performer. The computer processes the sounds created by the performer’s interpretation in a variety of ways. The performer is also encouraged to react to and modify their interpretation of the graphic score based on the sonic results, which will vary for every performance of the piece.
Brett Masteller uses titles such as sonic artist, composer, performer, audio engineer, producer, sound designer, programmer, hacker, builder, and appropriator.
for Ghatam and Samplestra
When writing Melting Pot for ghatam and Samplestra (pre-recorded electronics), I was presented with a challenge to compose
music for this ancient Indian clay pot instrument and combine it with electronically manipulated material that will complement its unique sound. I decided to write three movements, each of which contains a female voice from various musical styles/cultures. In movement 1, we sample an R&B female voice; the 2nd movement has a Serbian female singing; and in movement 3 an operatic female voice. The ghatam rhythms I wrote work with the melodic fragments from these voices and grooves with electronic percussion sounds and effects.
Composer Gene Pritsker has written over 700 compositions, including chamber operas, orchestral and chamber works, electroacoustic music and songs for hip-hop and rock ensembles. His compositions employ an eclectic spectrum of styles, influenced by his studies of various musicalcultures
Shadow of the Hawk
for vibraphone and fixed media
David Z. Durant
I composed Shadow of the Hawk for vibraphone and fixed audio in early 2018 for percussionist Patti Cudd. The live vibraphone part is written in counterpoint to two other electronically produced instruments. These are a marimba-like instrument, built primarily of a sample of a PVC pipe being struck, and a percussion section built from many drum samples. I have also incorporated sounds that I built from a Moog synthesizer, an NED Synclavier, and the software program CSound. The vibraphone part represents the hawk, which is defined and moves linearly, while the shadow is all the other elements in the piece which are sometimes clear, sometimes diffuse, but always moving and changing.
David Z. Durant is a Professor of Music at the University of South Alabama where he is the Director of the Music Theory and Technology Program.
The Stillness at Rose Lake in Winter
for crotales and live electronics
Rose Lake sits between two nature preserves near my home in Fort Atkinson, WI. In late fall and winter of 2018-19, I walked through one of these parks almost every day, enjoying the stillness and solitude as I worked through musical material. Though I originally had more eclectic ideas in mind, the daily walks at Rose Lake focused my thoughts on the beauty of repetition and repetitive action, as well as the solace in simplicity. To mirror my own experience, I composed the piece using overlapping pitch and rhythm series to create repeated but varied musical gestures, with frozen pauses for reflection.
The Stillness at Rose Lake in Winter was composed for percussionist Patti Cudd.
Jeff Herriott teaches composition and electronic music at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he is the coordinator of the Media Arts and Game Development program.
Found in Translation
for percussion and live electronics
The computer performs an algorithmic model of a percussion piece, essentially a live audio score. The percussionist listens to the algorithmic score through headphones and attempts to realize the piece, as she is hearing it, on objects of her own choosing. Since the audio score is different in its details every time, the performer can never entirely learn it, but must instead attempt to “translate” it in real time. The computer analyzes the live percussion and generates an accompaniment using algorithms derived from the original audio score.
Chris Mercer currently teaches composition and music technology at Northwestern University.
for percussion and live electronics
still motion transposes musical material across the continua of high-to-low, loud-to-soft, fast-to-slow, big-to-small, and acoustic-to-electronic. The percussionist’s loudest drum sounds are defeated by electronic sounds, only to be reinterpreted as tiny, quiet sounds on woodblocks. Snare rolls turn into slowed-down, booming snare hits. Massive synthesizer tones meld into clear sustain from crotales. The live performance of still motion features live video sampling of the performing percussionist that extends these relationships into the visual domain.
Ted Moore is a composer, improviser, intermedia artist, and educator based in Chicago. His work focuses on fusing the sonic, visual, physical, and acoustic aspects of performance and sound, often through the integration of technology.
for cajon and fixed media
Is AI consciousness nothing? Is it something that we have created that now, on a fundamental level, exists? Or is it nothing? The use of a computer-generated voice, a faux sounding consciousness, begins this composition. The performer triggers a number of samples of paraphrases of texts by philosophers Martin Heidegger and René Descartes, artist Henri Matisse, and me (based on Heidegger); a voice from NASA states that “There is [sic] now four computers that have control of primary critical functions.” At this point, the program takes over and the performer must conform, for a while, to the synthetic triangle, square, and white noise sounds that the computer generates. Throughout, an earlier mechanical instrument, the Wurlitzer organ, appears as emblematic of our cartoonish efforts to develop creative engines that operate independent of our control.
Paul Elwood joins his background as a banjoist, percussionist, and improviser with that of his voice as a composer who loves the processes and syntax of contemporary writing in the creation of acoustic and electroacoustic music.
for vibraphone and fixed media
Melody is a study in transmogrification—the surprising or magical transformation of something—in this case a recording of one of my backyard wind harps (think fishing line attached to a resonator) combined with a simultaneous instrumental realization of it. One weather input; two audio outs. The conversion of fluctuating wind energy to sound, a double-exposure snapshot of an infinite duration, from ambient installation to fixed composition, from just intonation to equal temperament, from Aeolian drones to extracted rhythms, from clouds to grids, from effortlessly generated material to practiced human virtuosity; Melody occupies a place with one ear on the concert stage and the other out of doors, coexisting in tension and harmony. While there are plentiful tunes and synchronous moments of clarity and perfumed density, the melody of the title refers to Melody Scherubel, widow of composer Robert Paredes, who would have enjoyed this sort of thing and probably have described it as wind chimes on steroids.
Philip Blackburn is an environmental sound artist-composer based in Minnesota and sometimes Belize. He runs Neuma Records.