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Voice/text in ea


Oscille — Le Quan Ninh

Oscille - 3 (1997) Le Quan Ninh

Oscille is a work for lithophone and virtual instruments (Buchla Lightning Rods, movement detectors to play and process sounds at a distance using infrared signals) which draws the images of a personal metaphor into concrete experience: cultural cross-fertilization. Based on an ancient Vietnamese text, Oscilleexpresses an imaginary territory belonging at once to two cultures.

Through questioning the poetic power of a rediscovered language, the musician-archaeologists, using the present means (lithophones and lightning rods) gradually discover new means of extracting sound and sense. Situated between ancient poetry and sonic poetry, between culturally-based and invented gestures, between primitive acoustics and digital synthesis, without favour to one or the other, a world is created which oscillates between these two poles.

erinnerung — Hans Tutschku

erinnerung (1996) Hans Tutschku

Based upon a poem by Antonio Bueno Tubia, originally composed for 4-track.

The combination of speech and music is a central element in my work. In instrumental works with singers and in electroacoustic pieces I explore interchanges between these two media.

In erinnerung (Memento) the recorded poem with the voice of A.B. Tubia forms the starting point for many transformations. In addition to this text, bells and tam-tams are used as sound material. I used granular synthesis primarily to cut the sounds in tiny pieces and to play them back with many voices to create very dense sound textures. This intensity is one of the "translations" of the central phrase of the poem:

os lo aseguro
la cárcel existe
la recuerdo como un trallazo en la sien"

from Antonio Buena Tubia

Born in 1966, Hans Tutschku began his musical studies at an early age, and became a member of the Ensemble für Intuitive Musik Weimar in 1982. In Dresden he studied electroacoustic composition, accompanying the composer Karlheinz Stockhausen on several concert tours to study "sound-direction" with him. At the Royal Conservatory in The Hague he took the international year-long course "Sonologie", working primarily in the field of Digital Signal Processing. There he developed several computer programs for sound transformation related to specific compositional purposes. Hans Tutschku has composed tape pieces, works for live-musicians with tape and/or live electronics, as well as theatre, ballet, and film music. For the composition Die zerschlagene Stimme  he received the "Hanns Eisler" prize of the Deutschlandsender Kultur. With Zu Abend mein Herz he was selected for one year's study at IRCAM/Paris 1994/95 and for Sieben Stufen he received the second prize of the International Electroacoustic Music Competition of Sao Paulo 1995 and became Finalist in Bourges 1996.

Since 1995 he has been a professor of electroacoustic composition at the Liszt Conservatory in Weimar.

The composer suggests a high volume for listening to erinnerung .

Left to his Own Devices — Eric Chasalow

Left to his Own Devices (1996) Eric Chasalow

I was a graduate student at Columbia from 1977 to 1985. I spent much of this time working on tape and instrument pieces at the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center and would occasional take a break from the splicing block to catch up with the other the people working at the center, usually composer Pril Smiley, technician Virgil Decarvalo, Vladimir Ussachevsky and Milton Babbitt. The RCA synthesizer housed at the center was Milton's instrument. On one occasion, Milton told me that he intended to write only one more piece for tape and instrument a violin and tape piece that he had promised long ago. It was to have been titled Left To My Own Devices  a fabulous title I thought. Sadly, not long after that discussion, the studio was broken into and the RCA vandalized, rendering it inoperable. With the RCA gone, Milton's piece could not be written.

I have been thinking for a long time about using the computer to precisely control the manipulation of preexisting material especially material that has very strong associations. It is a challenge to do more than simply quote well-known sources and take a "free ride" on their fame. A composer needs to digest the material and come up with a piece that reveals its sources, yet through their manipulation and recontextualization has something to say of its own. In Left To His Own Devices , I have combined archival interviews with Milton Babbitt that go back as far as the 1960's with a virtual RCA synthesizer of my own creation. This has allowed me to write music that draws on quotations from Babbitt's instrumental music but to have it "performed" by the RCA. The text is my own composite of phrases that some of us have heard Milton speak many times over the years. In the best tradition of text-setting, I have tried to intensify these phrases by building a dramatic, musical structure both from them and around them.

Eric Chasalow is Associate Professor of Composition and Chair of the Music Department at Brandeis University. He also directs BEAMS, the Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Studio. He was born in 1955 in Newark, New Jersey. Mr. Chasalow received the D.M.A. from Columbia University where his principal teacher was Mario Davidovsky and where he studied flute with Harvey Sollberger. He pursued undergraduate studies at Bates College and New England Conservatory of Music. He has received awards and commissions from, among others, the Fromm Foundation for Music at Harvard University, John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, National Endowment for the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, with particular recognition for his works that combine live soloist with electronic sounds.

Eric Chasalow formerly served as Executive Director of the Guild of Composers, for whom he produced several seasons of concerts in New York City and a nationally distributed series of radio programs called "Composers in Concert". He has also held the position of Executive Director of Music Alliance, an organization dedicated to improving the climate for the art of music through educational programs and standards.

New World Records has released a compact disc of music by Eric Chasalow entitled, Over the Edge . His This Way Out  is available on CD from the International Computer Music Association and was featured at their 1992 international conference. Performances of his music have recently taken place in Hong Kong, Bratislava, Rome, Stockholm, Boston, San Francisco and Washington D.C. His music is published by G. Schirmer, McGinnis & Marx (New York) and Edition Bim (Bulle, Switzerland).

Longing for the Light — Alicyn Warren

Longing for the Light (1991) Alicyn Warren

The source material for this speech synthesis piece was a recorded interview with the art historian William S. Heckscher, who, like many other German intellectuals of his generation, emigrated to the US during Nazi times. This tape was then edited down to a 14-minute "libretto", which included recitations of poetry by Rilke and Goethe (in German and in English) in addition to candid thoughts and anecdotes.

Like some radio plays, the piece juxtaposes "dreamlike" sections (which might be heard as filtered through imagination or memory) with more "realistic" moments. For example, more traditionally musical manipulations of Professor Heckscher's words, fragmented in time and space, coexist here with relatively unprocessed speech (which gives the impression of his straightforward vocal presence).

The recurring image of light in the text is meant to serve both literally (as in the case of the blind woman of Rilke's poem, who rejoices at still being able to perceive some light) and metaphorically, to symbolize the soul's longing for knowledge or for union with a divine force. The work's dramatic focus is the transformation and transcendence of terrifying human concerns: blindness, deafness, old age, death.

The piece was completed in 1991 at the Winham Laboratory at Princeton University. It was a prizewinner in the Bourges 19th International Electroacoustic Music Competition and is recorded on the CD Cultures Electroniques 6 .

Alicyn Warren is a composer who also writes about electronic and film music. She is a graduate of Columbia University and Princeton University, where she earned a doctorate in composition.

She has received grants and prizes from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Musicological Society, the Mellon Foundation, and the Bourges Concours International de Musique Electroacoustique. Her works have been performed and broadcast in the US, Canada, Latin America, and Europe, and are recorded on the Centaur and Le Chant du Monde labels. Alicyn Warren has taught computer music, composition, and film music at Columbia University and at the University of Virginia, where she is Assistant Professor and Associate Director of the Virginia Center for Computer Music.

Family Stories: Sophie, Sally — Anna Rubin et Laurie Hollander

Family Stories: Sophie, Sally (1997) Anna Rubin et Laurie Hollander

Family Stories: Sophie, Sally  is a work for computer-generated tape. The text is about Anna Rubin's mother, Sophie who grew up in Atlanta, Georgia under the care of an African-American nanny, Sally, due to her immigrant Jewish mother's chronic illness and then early death. The piece evokes the time and place of these events, in the atmosphere of the racism and anti-Semitism of the early 1900's. The piece was created on an SGI using a variety of CSound instruments.

Thanks are due to Paul Koonce and his guidance through CSound; to the Geoffrey Winham Studio of Computer Music at Princeton University; to Aleta Hayes, voice of `Sally,' whose insights and creative evocation of character were invaluable; and to Howard Herrnstadt, harmonica.

Anna Rubin composes instrumental and computer-generated music. Her work has been performed internationally and she received the Gaudeamus Foundation Delta Ensemble prize (1982). She is the recipient of fellowships from the New York Foundations for the Arts (1988, 1994) and commissions from the New York Council for theArts, New American Radio, WNYC Radio, and such performers as Thomas Buckner, F. Gerard Errante and Isabelle Ganz. She has received numerous Meet The Composer grants and is a member of ASCAP. She has received residencies from Harvestwork, Inc., Brahmshaus, Baden Baden, American Dance Festival, and the Charles Ives Center for American Music. Her work is recorded on the Neuma, Sony and SEAMUS labels and she is published by Leisure Planet. Her work is noted in the Norton/Grove Dictionary of Women Composers and her electroacoustic music is noted in the New Grove Dictionary of Musicians. Recent performances have been at major museums in Tel Aviv, Chicago and Los Angeles as well as at venues in Hong Kong, Seoul, New York, Washington D.C., Montreal, Tel Aviv, Ghent, and The Hague.

Laurie Hollander composes computer-generated music. She was a graduate fellow at Princeton University from 1984-90. Her works have been performed in throughout North America. She is currently interested in various software designs in spatialization.

Translation: Ned Bouhalassa

Ned is a studio composer who creates pieces for concert, the radio, as well as for more intimate listening. Recently, he has been involved in the creation of film, television, and Internet soundtracks. He also enjoys writing and listening to techno music, which keeps him `on his toes' until the wee hours of the morning.


Curators: Stephen David Beck, Anna Rubin, Ben Thigpen

Web editors: Yves Gigon & Jef Chippewa

Translation: Ned Bouhalassa

The Artists:

© Productions electro Productions (*PeP*) 1998

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