Did Italian Lovers Shout Allegro?

This piece has had a few airings – the sound file is taken from the first performance with Andrew Greenwald, Bill Carbonne, and Tyshaun Sorey all on percussion. The video link is to another version played by John Myers, Matt Hurwit, and Tyshaun Sorey. In both versions the instruments were prepared just before the percussionist took to the stage: they remove, rearrange, and redistribute these preparations during the piece; I’ve edited this initial preparation of the instruments out of the sound file and in the video the lighting is not great so you can see it; I’m trying to track down the video of the first performance, which shows clearly this process of preparation. In any event the piece is an attempt to make 4/4 as difficult as possible to play. Have a look at the score/instructions and see what a pain it is to play…… I hope these imposed difficulties contribute to a strange and interesting rhythmic feel

Instructions for Italian

Sound File

Litany

For Pipe Organ (organist and two assistants) and Piano.

This was composed for my MA Thesis Concert in 2010. The Organist is Brian Parks, Assistants Neil Quigley and Grainne Blake, with Marcello Rilla on Piano. I’m not sure that there are too many quiet Pipe Organ and Piano pieces, which is probably why I wrote it! Like most pieces (of mine and everybody else’s…. hehe) it could do with some trimming around the edges, but I do like when the piano comes in and if I ever get time to revise the piece I think I would re-center the piece on that section. The other music-nerdy item that is worth mentioning is that the pitch material was one 12-tone row (or maybe only 11 of the possible 12, somebody else can check the score!), which like everything else in the piece you never quite hear.

Anyway a link to the Score/Instructions plus a link to video of the performance are below.

Instructions for Litany

Map Is Not Territory

This piece was original composed for the 2010 SuperCollider Symposium at Wesleyan University. Its had a couple of airings elsewhere in the US and in Mexico. The code for the piece involves the processing and articulating of a collage of recordings from the World War I era using a list of information relating to U.S. casualties from Connecticut. The recordings were obtained from:

http://www.firstworldwar.com/audio/index.htm

1) The Yanks started Yankin’. 1918 satirical U.S. wartime song (The Russians Were Rushin’) The Yanks Started Yankin’. Written by Carey Morgan with music by Chas McCarron. Performed by Arthur Fields in 1918

2) Recording of Gas-shells firing, during a bombardment by British troops Advancing on Lille 1918

3) A choir of Italian Alpine Soldiers. Monte Canino (written circa 1915)

4) If you were the only Girl in the World. Music written in 1916 by Clifford Grey, with lyrics from Nat D. Ayer. Performed in 1916 by Violet Lorraine and George Robey

5) The Liberty Bell. Music by Halsey K. Mohr and lyrics by Joe Goodwin. Performed by The Peerless Quartet in 1917

The casualty information list was taken from information posted on:

The American Battle Monuments Commission accessible at http://www.abmc.gov/search/wwi.php

The information on the list supplies the names, rank, date of death, and home state of each casualty. This data was then recompiled to reflect the chronological order of deaths, from the date of the first death until the date of the last death. Supercollider then iterated the days that the U.S. had taken part in the war; in addition, it iterated the number of days following Armistice Day that deaths of soldiers had been recorded: a total 895 days were computed. Each time the program encounters a day in which a fatality or multiple fatalities occurred, the collage is processed through various filters, and the personal details of the solider trigger the activation of a sine wave and a low frequency oscillator. The month of a soldier’s death determines the type of filter to be used. The parameters of the filters, frequency, and durations of the sine waves and LFO are controlled by the letter of a soldier’s name being converted into ASCII, and added together to get a numerical value. Supercollider reads through these data lists at two temporal rates – 0.05 and 0.5 seconds for each day.

Sound File