My creative practice and research focus on investigating points of overlap between chamber music and sound art. In addition, I am interested in applying acoustic phenomena and feedback in live performances, and embedding sounds or gestures into layers of automated live electronic processes. Below are some examples from my music/installations, followed by examples of my research and writing.
Music And Installations:
A scene for two musicians/actors, piano, percussion, live electronics, arduino/photoresistor controlled fan, ultrasonic speaker, fixed electronics (Utilizing Modal Distortion Processing – currently under development by Professor Jonathan Abel). At the end of the piece the fan moves the signal from the ultrasonic speaker around the performance space. Thanks to the amazing Levy Lorenzo and Dennis Sullivan… collectively aka Radical 2.
In Skry 2 a photoresistor is placed underneath a bowl of water. Food coloring is added to the water. The pitch of the electronic sound changes very slowly as the water changes color.
For cello, prepared Disklavier (The disklavier is prepared with several hard cover books placed across and dampening all of the strings), and live electronics controlling variable band-pass filters. Performed at CCRMA by the incredible Séverine Ballon.
Research, Recordings, and Writing:
Automated Variable Band Pass Filters
In many of my pieces I have utilized groups of automated hard limited variable band pass filters. These allow me to set very high input gains on microphone input and filter the ensuing feedback without creating unpleasant squeals. Below is a quick and simple demonstration of these filter system:
Another quick example:
For a longer discussion about using these systems in more complex pieces please see:
“Taking my installation from 2012, The Workshop at the Back of the Barracks, this paper discusses how my reflections on this piece influenced the development of the five subsequent electroacoustic chamber compositions. During the installation the acoustic sound materials, that is, the movements and gestures of the visitors interacting with this installation, became embedded into an ongoing automated live electronic stream of sound. This embedding created what I call alternative audio images of the movements and gestures, something more than the creation of 1-plus-1electronic processing relationships. Similarly, the acoustic materials for each of the chamber pieces were created through a series of simple reinterpretations of standard notation made during the compositional process. These reinterpretations were analogous to the parameter value shifts that produced the live electronic streams. Following some introductory remarks and a description of the installation, the original performance instructions and scores for each of the subsequent chamber pieces are presented. In addition, the main elements of the source acoustic materials for each piece and their principle reinterpretations are described. Further, each chapter includes a description of the autonomous live electronic streams that the chamber musicians – performing the reinterpreted acoustic materials – became embedded into, and the alternative audio images, which were also produced by this embedding.”
Modal effects processor were developed by Professor Jonathan Abel at CCRMA/Stanford University. With the assistance of doctoral student Kurt James Werner they have written several papers explaining the processing, for example their 2015 DAF-x paper DISTORTION AND PITCH PROCESSING USING A MODAL REVERBERATOR ARCHITECTURE. I have been fortunate in having had the opportunity to use these processors in several of my pieces (Diegesis – Something Like In Memoriam at the top of the page uses the modal distortion effect) and give them feedback on what would be useful to develop for realtime versions of these effect.
I will post some more examples of these effect processors soon.