SEAMUS releases Volume 32 of its ongoing series featuring electro-acoustic works from its current 2023 member composers. This volume includes pieces by Kristopher Bendrick, Kyong Mee Choi, Adam Mirza, Lisa Renée Coons, Robert McClure, Carolyn Borcherding, and Eli Stine.
Kristopher Bendrick’s progressively smaller TVs is based on the poem “Arrested Saturday Night” by Stephen Dobyns, which is an absurd narrative poem in which a daisy chain of people are watching each other through various forms of screens (windows, wind-shields, TV-screens, etc.). The piece contains rapid tonal shifts, much like the poem, in which it plays with the comedy and seriousness as well as the all around absurdism of the poem. The electronics heighten the intensity and emotion of the piece, while also playing with the idea of progressively smaller TVs by filtering the voice to make it sound like it’s coming from various low-quality TVs.
Kyong Mee Choi’s Flowering Dandelion for violin paraphrases an intriguing part of J.S. Bach’s Violin Sonata in B minor, Adagio, and showcases the evolution of musical expression incorporating timbral and textural evolution. The gestures of musical ideas portray the images of a flowering dandelion.
Adam Mirza’s Snared, Wired, Crashed situates a solo percussionist as a kind of cyborg musician within an unwieldy interactive system. The work is built around a hybrid acoustic-electronic-digital instrument that uses contact mics and transducer drivers on the snare and crash cymbal (with an additional pair of drivers on a kick drum and thunder sheet) to create feedback pathways between the instruments. The percussionist acts simultaneously as instrumentalist and live sound engineer, using foot pedals to control live processing presets and feedback levels, attempting to mediate the intensities of the different, but interconnected, sound sources.
Lisa Renée Coons’ Chimera’s Garden is a song of social isolation and feminine transformation, situating a protagonist-performer within a narrative environment of projection and sonic textures. It was created with flutist Shanna Pranaitis as part of Coons’s Narrative Environment series. In NE works, Coons develops two-dimensional creations of vellum, ink, text and found objects into multimedia compositions.
Robert McClure’s bloom, for piano and electronics was commissioned by and written for pianist Justin Snyder. The title references several images that contributed to the compositional process. It’s the tangled, rising bloom of jellyfish. It’s the soft, hazy blue glow emanating from fish and invertebrates from the ocean depths and bioluminescent algae shimmering on the surface. It is the vision of light surrounding, but not touching.
Carolyn Borcherding’s Life is was inspired by a particularly tumultuous time for the composer. It posits that meaning is built from small, day-to-day occurrences, rather than large events. Grand events are assembled by a series of smaller events that were by no means any less important. The piece is built on an ascending major seventh motive, which transforms and grows as it attempts to find resolution. Thus, reiterations and developments of this single motive knit together an experience far larger than itself.
Eli Stine’s Where Water Meets Memory is the byproduct of work the composer did at the Anheuser-Busch Coastal Research Center (Oyster, Virginia), recording sounds including oyster reefs. It examines our relationship to water and the rising of our oceans as a function of global warming. The work uses a higher-order ambisonic workflow, incorporates recorded or sampled instruments in each section, and works in a number of different electroacoustic styles. The resulting work is for full 3D fifth-order higher order ambisonics, presented here as an ambisonic UHJ render.
New Focus Recordings is an artist led collective label featuring releases in contemporary music of many stripes, as well as
new approaches to older repertoire. The label was founded by guitarist Daniel Lippel (who is the current director), composer engineer Ryan Streber, and composer Peter Gilbert in 2003-4, and features releases from many of new music's most active performers and composers....more