Russian Disco by Ricardo Climent
I have always been fascinated by the fact that, out of broken tiles arranged within architectonic contours such as frescos and curved stone benches, artists could provide a sense of organic growth to inert materials, without necessarily being too logical or consistent. Ultimately, this idea and the joy of working with he best performers, informed my compositional thinking when writing Russian Disco. This composition is inspired by the book with the same title written by Vladimir Kaminer. The book is a collection of hilarious short stories of Berlin’s nightlife from the point of view of a Russian-born inhabitant of the city. Similarly, this piece is also a collection of brief decontextualized musical stories in mosaic form. All themes are based either on music or objects which have resonated in the composer’s mind for years, including several re-orchestrations of Dvorák's Humoreske, P. Manoury's Jupiter, and a collection of 1960s/70s Siemens fans found in Berlin's Mauer park. The printed music is a digital score of choice (kaitenzushi score), which consists of a mosaic of pre-composed sonic cells, which make use of live elements to join them. During performance, the players have alternatives to structure the score’s layout, while the music and parts are mounted on to the carousel display using current technology and software. The system imitates how sushi food travels on a carousel belt in some Japanese restaurants and the mental decision-making process to pick it up. The computer reconstructs pre-notated musical fragments at micro-level and it provides a framework for restricted improvisation and counterpoint-like interaction for the electronic performer on stage to complete the Russian Disco trio.
Ricardo Climent is Professor of Interactive Music Composition at University of Manchester, UK, where he serves as director of the NOVARS Research Centre and as director of Composition. His compositions explore the means for expression when writing for acoustic instruments and live electronics. For the last few years, his research has extended his ways of interaction with materials and concepts by employing game-audio technologies (e.g. blender, Unreal Engine). Ricardo employs physics-graphics-game engines in compositional environments, using sound and ‘the aural’ as the primary source for navigation and exploration of the sonic. Recent works included the fabrication of virtual and augmented instruments and urban overlays, exploring hybridisation and citizen urges. Web-links: http://game-audio.org; http://locativeaudio.org; Collection of musical works: http://electro-acoustic.com; for NOVARS: http://www.novars.manchester.ac.uk
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Primary Colors by Robert Rowe
The title of Primary Colors comes from a recognition that the piece is composed of a number of highly differentiated and internally consistent blocks of material: primary colors, if you will. The computer part, written by the composer in C++, combines the sounds of the two instruments, some prepared sound files, and effects processing on all of it.
Robert Rowe received degrees in music history & theory (B.M. Wisconsin 1976), composition (M.A. Iowa 1978), and music & cognition (Ph.D. MIT 1991). From 1978 to 1987 he lived and worked in Europe, associated with the Institute of Sonology in Utrecht, the Royal Conservatory in the Hague, the ASKO Ensemble of Amsterdam, and with IRCAM in Paris, where he developed control level software for the 4X machine. In 1990 his composition Flood Gate won first prize in the “live electroacoustic” category of the Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition. In 1991 he became the first composer to complete the Ph.D. in Music and Cognition at the MIT Media Laboratory and is currently Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Doctoral Studies of the Steinhardt School at New York University. His music is performed throughout North America, Europe, and Asia and is available on compact discs from Innova, Bridge, New World, Roméo, Quindecim, Harmonia Mundi, and the International Computer Music Association, and his book/CD-ROM projects Interactive Music Systems (1993) and Machine Musicianship (2001) are available from the MIT Press. http://files.nyu.edu/rr6/public/
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Beneath the Surface by Paul Wilson
Beneath the Surface explores musical ideas developed from a few whispers and clicks from both flute and clarinet. One of the main thoughts here was to restrict the soundworld, keeping the work intimate and from never really growing beyond a murmur. The composition explores the tensions between noise or air sound and pitch, and the onset of vibrations both within and between the instrumental and computer parts. The initial challenge in this work was to address the issue of composing a piece that uses extremely quiet sounds for the most part. This piece is something of a reaction to the extremely rich and dynamic possibilities available within the electroacoustic medium. The initial idea involved searching for musical expression whilst denying the more exciting and perhaps obvious possibilities that might present themselves when developing the composition. The overall effect of the piece is that it should not feel completely finished. Some interesting sounds and musical ideas are presented but they never fully develop and remain subdued, beneath the surface.
Paul Wilson is a composer at The Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast. His compositions involve the use of instruments and electronic resources and range from interactive collaborative installations to instrumental music. His works have been commissioned and performed by The Ulster Orchestra, Barrie Webb, Steve Halfyard, Elizabeth McNutt, Esther Lamneck, Pedro Carneiro, Darragh Morgan, The National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, The Smith Quartet and Psappha, amongst others, and have been performed across Europe, the U.S., Central America and the Far East. Recent works include new and exciting pieces for Esther Lamneck, Elizabeth McNutt and Marij van Gorkom. http://paulwilson.ie/
Still Angry by Andrew May
Still Angry is a double concerto: a struggle between the instrumentalists, who are set on doing avant-garde improvisation, and the computer, equally determined to do songs by 1970's Manchester bands. Quotations from songs by Joy Division, Magazine, and Buzzcocks, covered by the composer, create a post-punk quodlibet. Three short samples were also taken from the beginnings of Joy Division's Insight, New Dawn Fades, and Love Will Tear Us Apart. The title is part of a quote from Richard Morgan's novel Altered Carbon: "When they ask how I died, tell them: still angry." There are plenty of reasons for unquenchable anger these days -- unjust wars, environmental degradation, ill-fitting clothes, crashing computers, economic imperialism, emotionally unavailable family members, the neighbor's kid's car stereo, global poverty, the decline of the artistic avant-garde... The stylistic chauvinism that makes music divide people instead of uniting them is probably not the best one — but I'm still angry about it.
Composer and computer musician Andrew May is best known for innovative and subtle chamber music, some of which involves computer-based agents interacting with human performers. May has also performed internationally as a violinist and conductor, specializing in adventurous new music and avant-garde improvisation. He has taught composition and directed the Center for Experimental Music and Intermedia at the University of North Texas since 2005. Born and raised in Chicago, May studied composition and computer music with Jonathan Berger (Yale), Mel Powell (CalArts), Roger Reynolds and Miller Puckette (UC San Diego). His music can be heard on CDCM, SEAMUS, and EMF Media recordings, and his solo CD Imaginary Friends on Ravello Records. http://cemi.music.unt.edu/may
Trio for flute, clarinet, and computer by Eric Lyon
The Trio is the third in a series of computer chamber music compositions developing modes of interaction based on compositional, rather than improvisational imperatives. In these works, all computer-projected materials are based on sounds captured live during performance. The computer sound is balanced to the level of the acoustic instruments, which are not amplified.
Eric Lyon is a composer and computer music researcher. He is a co-developer of FFTease, and his LyonPotpourri externals have also found favor in the Max/MSP world. His recent compositions include "The Cascades," a 124-channel soundscape composition for the Cube at Virginia Tech, "Noise Variations" for ensemble mise-en, and “The Book of Strange Positions” for the violin duo String Noise. He has taught computer music at Keio University, The International Academy of Media Arts and Sciences (IAMAS), Dartmouth College, the University of Manchester, and Queen's University Belfast, and is now on the faculty at Virginia Tech. Lyon's current compositional work focuses on computer chamber music, spatial orchestration and articulated noise.
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e++ by Russell Pinkston
e++ was commissioned by Esther Lamneck and Elizabeth McNutt for the Tornado Project. My goal in this piece was to take advantage not only of their musical virtuosity, but also of their colorful personalities and remarkable stage presence. Having seen them perform together in the past, I was struck by the unusual way they chose to arrange themselves in concert, standing well apart and facing each other from opposite sides of the stage. I decided to exploit this arrangement, not only in terms of emphasizing (and playing with) the inherent stereo separation of the flute and clarinet in this arrangement, but also in terms of the musical material. Specifically, I looked for opportunities to let the two of them interact with and play off each other, as well as with the computer. I also made sure that there was a section where these two highly innovative performers could improvise using extended techniques, making sounds on their instruments that very few others can make.
Russell Pinkston currently resides in Austin, Texas, where he is Professor of Music Composition and Director of Electronic Music Studios at The University of Texas at Austin. He is active as a composer, researcher, author, and teacher in the field of electroacoustic music, and his work has been widely recognized. He has received a number of significant honors, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Charles Ives Fellowship from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and a senior Fulbright Fellowship to Brazil. He is a founding member and former President of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U. S., and has served as an ICMA Regional Representative for the Americas. http://russellpinkston.com/