Toco Madera for wooden percussion duo and computer generated sounds by Juan Carlos Pampin
Vanessa Tomlinson and Ivan Manzanilla, percussion
Spin Cycle/Control Freak for interactive electronics by Amar Chaudhary
Amar Chaudhary, interactive electronics
iICEsCcRrEeAaMm for four channel tape by Fernando Lopez-Lezcano
Esquisse for flute and electronics by Ronald Bruce Smith
Escuela for piano and live electronics by Christopher Burns
Christopher Jones, piano
20 Questions for tape by Jonathan Norton
Three Sketches for cello and electronics by Bruce Bennett
Incantation S4 for saxophone and electronics by Matthew Burtner
Matthew Burtner, tenor saxophone
Toco Madera by Juan Carlos Pampin
North of San Francisco, near Point Arena, the sea transforms the beach into a beautiful, constantly evolving mile long sculpture. On the beach hundreds of wood logs are washed onto the coast by the Pacific Ocean. I discovered this sculpture (or is it an installation?) while beginning work on Toco Madera. The dense textures created by drift wood of all sizes inspired the from and process of the piece. I realized that my compositional work had to be similar to the role of the sea, which not only placed the objects in textural combinations, but transformed their surfaces and matter to create new complex morphologies.
I sculpted new sounds with the computer from a set of nine wooden percussion instruments recorded in the studio. I wanted to keep the rustic quality of wood sounds, to operate on them respecting their soul. This task was achieved using spectral analysis of the instrumental sounds to extrapolate their salient acoustic qualities, and digital filters to carve their matter. Throughout the piece, these transfigured wood sounds interact with the original instrumental set, performed by two percussion players, to create a multi-layered musical space that reflects the textural traits of the natural wooden sculpture.
Toco Madera is the second of a cycle of percussion works exploring what philosopher Valentin Ferdinan calls "materiality" of sound. For this work (as for Metal Hurlant, the first piece of this cycle) a qualitative logic that guided the compositional process was inferred from the acoustic structure of the material used. In Toco Madera music becomes the expression of wood.
The analysis and spectral transformations of the instruments were done using ATS, spectral modeling software custom designed by me. All the digital signal processing for the piece was performed with Bill Schottstaedt's Common Lisp Music.
Spin Cycle/Control Freak (1999) by Amar Chaudhary
What began as a series of short pieces became a bit muddled along the way. The result is a single large-scale work in which notes played on toy instruments give way to rhythmic grooves and loops, and finally to a single continuously-changing tone. An unintended unifying factor of this work is the use of sounds from the past: the toy instruments are modeled from actual toys of mine; the final section is reminiscent of early experiments in electronic music; and throughout, the sounds of classic analog synthesizers rear their ugly heads. This performance uses software developed at CNMAT for additive synthesis, resonance modeling and real-time control. I would like to thank Adrian Freed, Matthew Wright and David Wessel for all their help along the way.
iICEsCcRrEeAaMm by Fernando Lopez-Lezcano
iICEsCcRrEeAaMm is now definitely in beta test. As in the software world, Marketing informs me that in future versions bugs will be squashed and new features will be added for the benefit of all listeners. "iscream" refers to the origin of most of the concrete sound materials used in the piece. Screams and various other utterances from all of Chris Chafe's kids were digitally recorded in all their chilling and quite upsetting beauty. They were latter digitally fed into the "grani" sample grinder, a granular synthesis instrument developed by the composer. "ICECREAM" refers to the reward the kids (and myself) got after the screaming studio session. The piece was composed in the digital domain using Bill Schottstaedt's Common Lisp Music. Many software instruments and quite a few other samples of real world sounds made their way into the bit stream.
Escuela by Christopher Burns
Escuela is the second in a series of piano pieces which somehow refer to places where I've lived - in this case, my first home in California, on Escuela Avenue. The piece is also bound up in my early experiences as a graduate student, thereby enriching the meaning of the title. In Escuela, a computer is employed to modify the sound of the piano during the performance. The performer controls this process from the piano keyboard, applying ring modulations which precisely reflect the pitch structure of the original piano music. The result is a kind of mirroring - the electronics describe the piano's music in the way that they alter its sound. Thanks to Juan Pampin for assistance with the software, and especially to Chris Jones, who provided invaluable advice on early drafts of the piece.
20 Questions (1997 rev. 1999) by Jonathan Norton
What is a question? How are questions formulated? As the mind wrestles to grasp the concept of a subject, inevitably, questions begin to form . But not all questions are created equal. Some may be ill-conceived and make no sense, resulting in more confusion. Some well thought out questions, once asked, can be enlightening but raise yet further questions. Some are really not questions at all, but simply a reiteration of the subject in the inquirer's own words in an attempt to understand. Sometimes frustration ensues, and the inquiry must be re-approached. From thought to vocalization this piece explores the musical texture of a question. This piece was realized through the use of granular synthesis, spectral reshaping and the re-sampling of vocal samples and computerized instruments. All signal processing was done on a Apple PowerPC.
Three Sketches for cello and electronics by Bruce Christian Bennett
This work in progress for cello and electronics represents the initial sketches of a collaboration between composer Bruce Bennett and cellist Hugh Livingston. These sketches outline a few of the many possibilities for Mr. Livingston's repertoire of extended cello techniques to interact with the MAX/MSP digital signal processing environment. The composer controls live signal processing (ring modulation, digital delays, reverb, harmonization, etc.) of the performance by the cellist. The cellist, in turn, responds to the presence of the live signal processing. The result is that the musical material of the cello, both notated and improvised, is directly influenced by the nature of the signal processing; likewise, the signal processing is directed towards accentuating the musical material and sonic characteristics of the cello. The goal is to present the cello and the electronics as a single, whole, and unified instrument.
Incantation S4 by Matthew Burtner
Incantation S4 (1997) explores the integration of the saxophone and electronics as equal elements within a single, non narrative sound-space. Techniques of digital audio synthesis such as granular synthesis, spectral mutation, and spectral resonance influenced the compositional approach to the saxophone while the electronic part was inspired by a natural and organic conception of sound. "Incantation S4" is dedicated to Barry Truax and was composed during a residency at Simon Fraser University using the PODX system for quasi-synchronous granular synthesis. It was recently released on a solo CD of Burtner's music, "Portals of Distortion: Music for Saxophones, Computers, and Stones" from Innova Records (Innova 526).
Bruce Christian Bennett (b. 1968) is a native of Seattle who has lived in San Francisco since 1991. He is a Ph.D. candidate in music composition at the University of California, Berkeley, where he is a student of Richard Felciano and is involved in research and composition at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT). He received his M.M. in composition from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music in 1993, where he studied composition with Andrew Imbrie and Elinor Armer, and his B.A. in music from Reed College in 1990, where he was a student of David Schiff. He is active not only as a composer, but also as a conductor and presenter of new music, an improviser, a vocalist, pianist, and an electro-acoustic musician. His works have been performed throughout the United States and abroad.
Christopher Burns is a graduate student at CCRMA. A founding member of the Balinese gong kebyar ensemble Gamelan Jagat Anyar, his compositions reflect his experiences with Indonesian music as well as his study of computer techniques.
C. Matthew Burtner (b. 1970) is a doctoral student in composition at Stanford University. A native of Alaska, he studied philosophy at St. Johns College, composition at Tulane University (BFA '93), computer music composition in Paris at Xenakis's CEMAMu/UPIC studios, and computer music at the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (MM '97). His pieces, commissioned by performers such as Phyllis Bryn-Julson, the Spectri Sonori Ensemble, Norway's MiN Ensemble, the Peabody Trio, and the Quiescence Dance Ensemble, have been performed throughout the United States and Europe as well as in Japan, Canada, Australia, and Brazil. As a saxophonist Burtner is interested in experimental electroacoustic music and enjoys performing works which explore the unique acoustical properties of the saxophone.
Amar Chaudhary (b. 1973) has long pursued both musical and technological interests. Amar grew up in suburban New York, where he studied piano and composition with Ruth Schonthal at the Westchester Conservatory of Music, and also spent countless hours playing around with the family computer. Honors for his early musical work include a 1991 National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts award in music, and a 1992 premier of his clarinet quartet at Weill Recital Hall in New York. He received a B.S. with honors in Music and Computer Science from Yale University in 1995, and is now a Ph.D. student in computer science at the University of California, Berkeley. As a researcher at the Center for New Music and Audio Technologies (CNMAT), he is developing advanced software for music composition and performance. In his bountiful spare time, Amar continues to compose independently.
Composer and pianist, Christopher Jones was born in 1969 in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a pianist, Christopher has extensive experience performing contemporary music. In addition to numerous solo performances, he has worked with the Indiana University New Music Ensemble, the New Vienna Ensemble at IU, New Works Calgary, the University of Calgary New Music Ensemble, and the Group for Contemporary Music at the University of Washington in Seattle. Christopher has had performances recorded for radio broadcast by WGBH in Boston, and CBC in Calgary. Christopher completed his Bachelor of Music in piano performance at the New England Conservatory, and a Master of Music in piano at Indiana University. Currently, he is completing a Master's degree in composition at the University of Calgary, and is pursuing a DMA in composition at Stanford University.
Flutist Mathew Krejci, born in Cleveland to a family of musicians, was a member of the Sacramento Symphony for nineteen years. He is now Professor of Flute in the Conservatory of Music at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California and Principal Flute of the Sacramento Philharmonic Orchestra. He has studied with James Pellerite at Indiana University, and Maurice Sharp, of the Cleveland Institute of Music. Active in chamber music, he has performed with the contemporary music ensemble, Music Now in a concert at the Los Angeles Museum of Art and is a member of and President of the Board of the Chamber Music Society of Sacramento. He also performs with San Francisco's Earplay, an ensemble which specializes in new music. In March, Mr. Krejci performed Pablo Furman's Matices Coincidentes at the SEAMUS convention at San Jose State University and will perform Jennifer Higdon's spectacular solo flute piece, Rapid Fire in concerts in Sacramento and at the Music Teachers Association of California convention in Monterey. For fourteen years, Mr. Krejci has been Principal Flute of the Bear Valley Music Festival. He has appeared there as soloist on the Bach, Suite in a minor and the Concerto for Flute and Harp by Mozart. In 1997, Mr. Krejci and his violinist son, Evan, were invited by the Slovak government to tour the Slovak Republic as part of the Slovaks Living Abroad Festival. They performed solos and chamber music with other Slovak artists from around the world. He has been invited to tour Slovakia again in July of 1999. His CD, music from the jazz suites of Claude Bolling, has been issued by Klavier Records.
Cellist Hugh Livingston performs contemporary music. He has recently moved to the Bay Area, where he is a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University and a Performer-in-Residence at UC Berkeley. Mr. Livingston has a BA in Music from Yale College, a MFA in Contemporary Performance from the California Institute of the Arts, and a DMA in Twentieth Century Cello Performance Practice from the University of California, San Diego. He is known for his innovations and creations in the fields of interpretation of the European, American and Asian literature of the past thirty years, as well as improvisation, Asian instrumental traditions, electronic music, and extended cello technique.
Fernando Lopez-Lezcano (Buenos Aires, 1956) received both a Master in Electronic Engineering (Faculty of Engineering, University of Buenos Aires) and a Master in Music (Carlos Lopez Buchardo National Conservatory, Buenos Aires). He started working with electroacoustic music by building his own analog studio and synthesizers around 1976. After graduating he worked for nine years in industry as microprocessor hardware and software Design Engineer while simultaneously pursuing his interests in electroacoustic music composition. His 1986 piece "Quest" won a mention in the 1990 Bourges Competition. He spent one year at CCRMA as Invited Composer, as part of an exchange program between LIPM in Argentina, CCRMA at Stanford and CRCA at UCSD, sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. He latter did research and taught for one year at the Shonan Fujisawa Campus of Keio University, Japan. He is currently Lecturer and Systems Administrator of the computer resources at CCRMA, where he splits his time between the company of good friends, keeping computers and users at CCRMA more or less happy and enjoying the arts of composing music and writing software. His music has been released on CD's and played in the Americas, Europe and East Asia.
Jonathan Norton (b.1966) He is currently finishing a Ph.D. in computer-based music theory at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. During his time at Stanford he studied with John Chowning, Julius Smith, Max Mathews, Chris Chafe, and Jonathan Harvey. He received his masters in music composition at Northwestern University. His works for dance, acoustic instruments, tape, and soundtracks have been performed and heard throughout the world in festivals and on television in the USA, Russia, Spain, Japan, Monaco, Italy, France, and Switzerland. For a full list of his compositions can be seen at http://www-ccrma.stanford.edu/~norton.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Juan Pampin has studied composition with Oscar Edelstein and Francisco Kröpfl. He holds a Master in Computer Music from the Conservatoire Nationale Supérieur de Musique de Lyon, where he studied with Denis Lorrain and Philippe Manoury. As a Visiting Composer at CCRMA in 1994, he composed the tape piece Apocalypse was postponed due to lack of interest that received an award in the Concours International de Musique Éléctroacoustique de Bourges 1995. He has been composer in residence at the LIEM-CDMC studio in Madrid, and guest lecturer at Quilmes National University in Argentina. As a Ph.D student at CCRMA, Juan Pampin has collaborated with professor Jonathan Harvey creating the electronic sounds for his pieces "Ashes Dance Back" (1996), and "Wheel of Emptiness" (1997). As part of his research work he has developed the ATS spectral modeling software used both for Harvey's pieces and for his own compositions. He has created a computer-based version for the live electronics of Karlheinz Stockhausen's piece "Mantra", performed by Tom Schultz and Joan Nagano in the Alea II concert series. In the present, Juan Pampin's main compositional project is a cycle of percussion pieces with electronics. This cycle will be completed by the end of next year with a percussion quartet, the final project for his DMA in composition at Stanford. Mr. Pampin's music includes works for acoustic instruments, computer music and mixed media, that have been performed in the United States, Latin America, Europe and Asia.
Ronald Bruce Smith studied composition at the University of Toronto, McGill University and the University of California, Berkeley from which he received the Ph.D. in Music Composition. He has also studied in Paris with Tristan Murail and at IRCAM. He has received many awards and commissions for his works. Recent performers of his music include the Aitken/Tureski Duo, the Arraymusic Ensemble, Artemis, the California E.A.R. Unit, Cikada Ensemble, Continuum Ensemble, Earplay, Pierrot Ensemble, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, Sirius Ensemble, Sonus Imaginorem, New Works Calgary Ensemble,Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and at festivals in Europe, the Americas and Australia.
Australian percussionist Vanessa Tomlinson studied at the Elder Conservatorium of Music, University of Adelaide, Hochschule für Musik in Freiburg with Bernhard Wulff and Robert Van Sice, and completed her Master in Music degree at the University of California San Diego with Professor Steven Schick . She has performed and lectured throughout Australia, USA, Germany, Malaysia and Spain. Vanessa has performed in ensembles and as a soloist in many festivals including The Adelaide Festival of the Arts, Darmstadt Ferienkurse für Neue Musik, Sydney Spring New Music Festival, The Barossa International Festival, Bang on a Can Festival- New York, Green Umbrella New Music Series-LA, Curtis Institute New Music Series and WOMAD. She is renowned for her interpretation of new music and since 1989 has commissioned and performed over thirty pieces for solo percussion. In addition to new notated music, Vanessa performs regularly as an improviser with players such as George Lewis, Ewart Shaw, Umezo Kazuto, Vinko Globokar, Anna McMichael, Urban Glass and many other impromtu performing groups. In Australia, Vanessa is an active participant in the activities of ACME New Music Co, ELISION, Libra New Music, The Adelaide Chamber Orchestra and performs regularly as a member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra. Recordings include a recent Compact Disc under the Dutch label Etcetera, with premiere recordings of works by John Cage, and an ELISION soloists CD with a solo work by Ferneyhough. Vanessa currently resides in San Diego performing with SONOR New Music Ensemble, the Tomlinson McNutt duo, the UCSD Percussion Sextet 'red fish, blue fish' as well as improvising with various members of the UCSD community.