‘Let It Come Out‘ was composed in 2009 using Sonar 8, KTGranulator,
Spear, and the E-MU Software Sampler. The idea behind this piece is the
relationship between the time and spectral domain. A single bass drum samples
forms a grain cloud, which grows in density and particle size until it resembles a
noise signal. At that point the sound is interrupted, and replaced with a multi-
sinusoidal drone. This drone was constructed by time stretching a short acoustic
guitar sample from two seconds to two minutes. The thought here is that we are
interrupting the sound to zoom in on it and examine the basic elements, being sine
waves. Through this section, samples of the bass drum and cymbals jolt the listener
back to a top level ‘view’, until the noise signal is resumed. At this point the grain
cloud disperses back to a simple bass drum, at which point the piece ends. I refer to
this form as the ‘interrupted A’, as the A section is interrupted to make room for a B
section, resuming later with the conclusion of the A. ‘Let It Come Out‘ was first
premiered in 2010.
‘MOUA‘ is an acousmatic piece composed and premiered in 2010. The
source sounds are recordings I made of a voice, screws being dropped into a pitcher
of water, a plastic bag, and a balloon. Samples were processed and arranged using
Pro Tools, Peak, BIAS SoundSoap 2, the GRM tools, and Spear. With this piece I tried
to put the listener in a sonic environment with the use of sound objects. As certain
sound objects became identifiable as real, they were then shrouded in an air of
unreal: a voice that isn’t quite a voice, the sound of creatures that may or may not be
of this world, metallic water droplets that sing to you. At certain points the comfort
of the ‘surroundings’ is taken away, and then re-introduced in a new form. The piece
is to be played with the house lights off to allow for a truly acousmatic listening
‘Mutsu Part 1’ is a tape piece composed in 2011. All samples are of piano transcriptions done by Australian composer Percy Grainger and performed by Piers Lane, graciously offered for use by Xenia Hanusiak and the Percy Grainger Museum at the University of Melbourne. The piece takes a minimalist approach to put an American spin on Grainger’s style. While most of his peaces are considered late romantic music, Grainger had a profound interest in the concepts of free music. His experiments with Theremins left him ultimately dissatisfied, as no Theremin could produce a sound as rich and beautiful as his favorite instrument, the piano. By using pitch-shifting software I was able to create a piano without pitch constraints. As time and pitch become harder to comprehend, the climax pushes the listener back to the ‘reality’ constrained pitch. This piece is part of a larger work in progress, which when completed will form a sonata for live piano and fixed electronics.
‘Puzzle Piece‘ was my attempt at creating a mixed sonic environment through loosely controlled parameters. Recordings of an upright bass were processed in Pro Tools using the GRM tools and are played back on a stereo speaker system. All live events, involving improvised banjo and scheduled percussion events, are passed through a looping module with infinite feedback. The result is a pitched drone set against an indeterminate pulse, where the improvised rhythms become more and more complex. As the piece develops, each drone lasts longer and the percussive loop becomes more and more obfuscated. Special thanks goes to David Zox for providing upright bass in the recordings.
Note: The recording included is the fixed electronics portion. The score for the live part is included in the portfolio download.
‘Call to Outlaws’ was based off a poem of the same by Rachel Lake, about a group of teenagers attending a carnival in the woods. It is divided into three sections, “The Garage, “The Carnival”, and “The Launch”. The piece is composed entirely of samples of the composer’s voice. Vocal drones and heavy processing are used to create a tense atmosphere where the narrative is barely perceptible at times. ‘Call to Outlaws’ was composed at Northeastern University using Pro Tools, Bias and GRM tools for arrangement and processing.
‘Amuse-bouche’, composed at Northeastern University, is an acousmatic piece composed entirely of sounds recorded in my kitchen. The work explores narratives by means of textures and sound objects. Through the use of sample re-triggering and delays, musically rhythmic patterns emerge and are interrupted by new objects or transitions into new sections. ‘Amuse-bouche’ was composed using Pro-Tools, iZotope RX II, and Ableton Live.