Articles on electronics in music

TECHNOLOGY AND NEW PARADIGMS OF IMPROVISATION


(abstract & information forthcoming)


NEW DEVELOPMENTS IN ACOUSTIC-AGGREGATE-SYNTHESIS (2015-16)


(abstract & information forthcoming)


EXTENDING STRINGS WITH ACOUSTIC-AGGREGATE-SYNTHESIS (2015-16)


ABSTRACT: This article discusses progress and advances in the Acoustic-Aggregate-Synthesis project (first described in Proceedings from ICMC, 2012). Acoustic-Aggregate-Synthesis is a real-time performance-tool which fuses synthetic and acoustic sound sources in order to achieve semi-acoustic re-synthesis of a pre-defined acoustic model. This technology functions most effectively, from a cognitive stand-point, when it is used with an in-strument which has been modified in order to allow synthe-sis to emanate via the same channels as those from which that instrument's acoustic signal emanates (i.e. with electronic diffusion of synthesis taking place inside the instrument itself). Thus, the project comprises elements of both software development and instrument modification. At the heart of this initiative is the desire to maintain the acoustic amplification & diffusion patterns, attack/sustain/release characteristics, etc. of a given instrument whilst overriding its timbral characteristics in favour of a contrasting, secondary tone.
SEE ALSO: www.paulclift.net/aas



SCULPTING ACOUSTIC FEEDBACK IN THEORY AND PRACTICE (2015)


ABSTRACT: Feedback exhibits a number of inimitable qualities: it reinforces the acoustic environment in which it is created by magnifying latent resonances and reverberations; it brings the idiosyncratic limitations and disequilibria of the technologies used in its creation abruptly into prominence; it is perceived, even in the most dense musical texture, as teetering on the edge of chaos, as a destabilising-element, one with the potential to abruptly intrude upon the sonic-landscape. From a phenomenological perspective, it renders the totality of the mechanism of diffusion audible in its own right.
With analogue means alone, the rudimentary level of control exercible upon this acoustic-phenomenon severely limits its potential for intentional use within a musical setting. With the digital-technology described here, however, a high-level of creative control is possible, significantly broadening it potential for expressive use.
In seeking to manipulate acoustic-feedback, the greatest challenge lay in maintaining its characteristic potential for turbulence and intensity whilst offering artists the possibility to compose future sound-events which will occur reliably and exclusively within the limitations of a pre-defined scope for potential variation (in terms of temporal organisation, pitch & harmonic content, intensity, attack-sustain-decay characteristics etc).


EXTENDING BRASS & WOODWIND INSTRUMENTS WITH ACOUSTIC-AGGREGATE-SYNTHESIS (2014)


ADDITIONAL AUTHORS: Adrien Mamou-Mani, René Caussé
PUBLICATION: Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Denton, 2015: pp. 338-341
ABSTRACT:This article discusses progress and advances in the Acoustic-Aggregate-Synthesis project (first described in Proceedings from ICMC, 2012). Acoustic-Aggregate-Synthesis is a real-time performance-tool which fuses synthetic and acoustic sound sources in order to achieve semi-acoustic re-synthesis of a pre-defined acoustic model. This technology functions most effectively, from a cognitive stand-point, when it is used with an in-strument which has been modified in order to allow synthe-sis to emanate via the same channels as those from which that instrument's acoustic signal emanates (i.e. with electronic diffusion of synthesis taking place inside the instrument itself). Thus, the project comprises elements of both software development and instrument modification. At the heart of this initiative is the desire to maintain the acoustic amplification & diffusion patterns, attack/sustain/release characteristics, etc. of a given instrument whilst overriding its timbral characteristics in favour of a contrasting, secondary tone.
SEE ALSO: www.paulclift.net/aas


ACOUSTIC-AGGREGATE-SYNTHESIS (2012)


PUBLICATION: Proceedings of the International Computer Music Conference, Ljubljana, 2012: pp. 120-123
ABSTRACT: Acoustic Aggregate Synthesis describes a real-time performance tool which attempts to fuse synthetic and acoustic sound sources in order to achieve a semi- acoustic re-synthesis of a pre-defined acoustic model. At the heart of this project is the desire to maintain the diffusion patterns, attack/sustain/release characteristics, acoustic amplification etc. of a given instrument whilst 'overriding' its timbral characteristics in favour of the creation of a contrasting, readily identifiable, secondary timbre.
SEE ALSO: www.paulclift.net/aas


Articles on the music of Salvatore Sciarrino

Allegoria della Notte [w/ audio examples]


Allegoria della Notte [w/o audio examples]



Infinito Nero [w/ audio examples]
Infinito Nero [w/o audio examples]


Introduzione All'Oscuro [w/ audio examples]
Introduzione All'Oscuro [w/o audio examples]


Other

Preludio a Colón by Julián Carrillo


This early landmark of microtonal music (composed in 1922!) is not widely performed because of its use of a special harp tuned in 16th-tones (whose 97 strings span just one octave) & quarter-tone guitar (originally constructed from a standard guitar with additional frets). In this adapted version, I have re-written the guitar part to suit a standard guitar (restringing required) and have substituted a MIDI keyboard (& Max/MSP patch) for the harp. This material may be freely downloaded and used for performance provided that I am credited.

INSTRUMENTATION: SOPRANO, FLUTE (w/ B-foot), RESTRUNG CLASSICAL GUITAR (two D-strings, two B-strings & two high E-strings), ≥61-KEY MIDI KEYBOARD (+computer), TWO VIOLINS, VIOLA & CELLO [8 performers; conductor recommended]
DOWNLOADS: SCORE | PARTS | PATCH (MAX7)


SALIENCE & MUSICAL FORM: ON THE COMPOSITION OF OBJETS À RÉACTION POÉTIQUE FOR LARGE CHAMBER ENSEMBLE (2016)


PUBLICATION: (forthcoming)
ABSTRACT: This dissertation comprises an examination of the author’s compositional processes in general and a discussion of the practical application of these notions in the composition of Objets à réaction poétique (2015-16) for nineteen musicians. Most notably, this composition and accompanying dissertation seek to substantiate the author’s hypothesis that structural- coherence may be achieved through a process attempting to assess degrees of salience of musical materials, and based upon these assessments, to ‘optimise’ the associated durations & temporal-placements of such materials. The various means by which salience may be achieved & quantified are examined in detail, as is the process through which an ‘appropriate’ context/ setting for the disposition of salient events is created. Throughout the dissertation, discussion of these notions is interspersed with commentaries upon the author’s compositional identity and style globally.


VISUAL METAPHORS IN LARGE-SCALE MUSICAL STRUCTURE (2015-16)


(abstract & information forthcoming)


ON A MUSIQUE MIXTE INSTRUMENTALE (2015)


PUBLICATION: (forthcoming)
ABSTRACT: The term Musique Concrète Instrumentale was proffered to Helmut Lachenmann in the early 1970's, at a time when fixed-media composition and instrumental composition were deemed to be largely distinct from, and refractory to, one other. In the previous decade, with few notable exceptions, the two domains co-existed much like Longfellow's 'ships passing in the night.' The designation heralded then the beginning of a period of generalised acceptance and recognition, among composers of instrumental music, of technology-based compositional theory and praxis. It carried two significant implications: firstly, that Lachenmann and others were treating instrumental gestures as objets sonores (Schaeffer, 1967), i.e. subjecting them to transformative-processes similar to those associated with musique concrète (e.g. stretching, looping, reversing, speeding up/slowing down etc.), and secondly, that the acoustic-instrumental material in these works, owing to the use of (at the time) radically new extended-techniques, was imitative of sound which had been denatured or synthesised electronically.
In a contemporary parallel to this historical development, we may now observe that many of the transformative processes which are commonplace in musique mixte (here used to describe repertoire combining one or more acoustic instruments and real-time treatments) are being imitated/reproduced within the context of purely acoustic music. Taking Pierre Boulez' Anthèmes as a paradigm for musique mixte, this paper will catalogue real-time treatments which have been emulated/replicated acoustically (e.g. spectral-filtering, FFT-freezes, delays, reverbs, the use of resonance-banks, etc.), citing demonstrative examples from diverse range of contemporary works.

Programme Notes

Franck Bedrossian: L'Usage de la Parole


Michael Jarrell: Assonance III


György Kurtág: Hommage à R. Sch (Op. 15d)


Klaus Lang: Origami


Philippe Leroux: De l'Epaisseur


Salvatore Sciarrino: Omaggio a Burri


Salvatore Sciarrino: Centauro Marino


Salvatore Sciarrino: Le ragioni delle conchiglie


Julián Carrillo: Preludio a Colón