Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
Canadian Electroacoustic Community
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Works » By Title » H » Hexachords (1985)

Martin Bartlett

for recorder and computer controlled electronics

“Hexachords” is the latest in a series of pieces for solo instruments and computer-controlled electronics exploring different aspects between a human performer and a pseudo-intelligent electronics system. Some principles these works all adhere to are: The human initiates, the machine responds; The time frame is established by the performer; The composer establishes the principle which governs the style of performance and the man/machine relationship, but leaves the performer improvisational freedom to do the things he does best. In “Hexachords” the musical material is made from six microtonal hexatonic scales derived from the subharmonic series of F. The Buchla 400 computer-controlled synthesizer echoes and varies the melodic shape of the recorder part, deriving pitches, tempo and dynamics from aspects of the instrumental sound. The piece was created using MABEL, a new control language for the Buchla 400 which the composer has been developing for the past year. I wish to acknowledge the important contribution made by Neil Van Wouw, programmer, to the development of this system, and also the continued advice and co-operation of Don Buchla, who designed and built the electronic instrument used in this performance. Hexachords was commissioned by Peter Hannan with the financial assistance of the Music Division of the Canada Council. MB

  • Studio: Live concert recording. Peter Hannan, recording.
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