Wednesday, April 21, 2010

concert 3

(updating a little late)

The third concert in our series was titled:

- Concrète -

Tuesday, February 16th
12:00-1:00pm with discussion to follow
Black Box Theater Atkinson Hall, UCSD campus


Eskers (2009) Fred Szymanksi
[Pjanistik] (2008) Thierry Gauthier
L'instant en Vain (2008) Dominic Thibauld
Termites (2008) The Convolution Brothers
Artifact (I) (2008) Nick Storring

This is the third concert in a year long series presenting music conceived with a special relationship to computers.

Notes about the program:

Fred Szymanski writes:
"Eskers" is a multi-channel piece that utilizes sounds produced by percussive gestures using the strings and soundboard of the piano. Through the application of granular synthesis routines, these sounds are transformed iteratively to articulate certain particle-based behaviors, resulting in the creation of multiple streams of statistical noise and other effects. The asynchronous fluctuation of the microstates that make up the work produces an environment of intermittent, constantly changing textures and the development of certain dense sections resembles the process of esker formation, whereby disintegrating or eroding matter moves slowly beneath a faster-flowing current of subglacial strata.


Thierry Gauthier writes:

This expressionist acousmatic piece is entirely made from prepared piano and sine waves. The development is guided by the piano fragments, which were played and recorded directly on the soundboard of the instrument.

Dominic Thibault writes about L'instant en vain:
Time is dust. A handful of sand that runs out of my grip. That grain that falls is already part of our memory. The present moment instantly becoming past. Why are we obsessed by time?

Nick Storring writes:
Artifacts (I) is drawn from a (projected) series of works based entirely on sounds from a near-broken violin. The violin, despite being full-size was given to me by my grandmother when I was too young to remember, a hint to my parents that I should get violin lessons. I ended up getting cello lessons instead and the violin collected dust, and endured several seasons of humidity and lack thereof, leading to the collapsed of its soundpost.
This piece explores memory and the (mis)representation of events in time through documentation and recording.
This violin seemed like an apt sound-source for such a piece. I used the strings - bowed, plucked, struck, scraped, bent from the other side of the bridge, but also the body of the instrument -- the sound of the paint and varnish being scraped off by the microphone, the body being struck, the soundpost being shaken around inside of it.
The processing of the materials was inspired by various recording media - everything from sound of old 78 RPM to corrupt MP3 files. Compositionally I also was interested by suggesting certain stylistic markers.
There was also an awareness on my part of evocations and manipulations of time on the level of a recording in and of itself, the perception of historical time, and time in the personal/ nostalgic domain, and how these temporal lines intersect.

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