SEAMUS Records continues its series celebrating the electro-acoustic and electronic works by its member composers. This release, Volume 26, features works by Scott A. Wyatt, Eli Fieldsteel, Keith Kirchoff, Becky Brown, Benjamin D. Whiting, Adam Vidiksis, Olga Oseth, David Z. Durant, and William Dougherty.
Scott Wyatt’s …and nature is alone memorializes the Chernobyl nuclear power station disaster in 1986. Elena Filatova, who wrote the text, and Valerie Sobol, who performs the text, both have personal connections to Chernobyl and their inclusion intensifies the cathartic nature of the work. Eli Fieldsteel’s work includes extensive investigation into music generated by microcontrollers. Using motion-sensitive resistors and sensor gloves in collaboration with the open source platform Arduino, Fieldsteel fashons a musical vocabulary that corresponds to his arsenal of physical gestures. Brain Candy is the fruit of those efforts. Pianist and composer Keith Kirchoff’s Irrational Rationalities is inspired by the work of cubist painter Alvin Loving. Loving’s paintings use tricks of the eye to embed visual contradictions within seemingly simple elements. Kirchoff strives to achieve a similar sleight of hand in music, combining three distinct thematic ideas in such a way that they are taken out of context and challenge a passive listening experience. Becky Brown’s Hold Still is a multi-disciplinary work combining poetry, drawings, video, and electronics processing.
Benjamin D. Whiting’s Illumina! Arabidopsis thaliana represents an ongoing collaboration between genomic biologist Aleel K. Grennan and the composer. Grennan’s research involves rates of photosynthesis in the Arabidopsis thaliana leaf, and Whiting incorporates data results into various parameters in DISSCO and KYMA, mapping on the experimental results to a set of sounds to reflect the diversity of leaves involved in the research. Local Equilibrium Dynamics, by Adam Vidiksis, involves different kinds of interactions between the live instrumentalists, sometimes disrupting each other’s sound, sometimes dispersing it, and other times collaborating with each other. These ensemble dynamics are then processed by the live electronics, forming a third player in the drama and generating a constantly shifting composite. Olga Oseth’s Shapes of Each Other includes field recordings of engines and a text reading of Rumi poetry. Oseth is interested in the ways that distinctive natures complement each other and result in a new, unique whole. David Durant’s Sighs of an Ancient Wall combines manipulated audio recordings of mezzo soprano Vikki Turner and Esther Lamnock’s composition and performance of her part on tárogató, a Hungarian wind instrument. The inspiration for the piece is taken from the medieval walls on the outskirts of Florence, Italy. William Dougherty’s Intersections utilizes the largest instrumentation on the collection, performed here by ensemble zone expérimentale. Dougherty’s piece involves slow glissandi against sine tones, using the resultant beatings from the microtonal discrepancies in pitch to determine the rhythmic structure of the piece, and to underscore what he terms the “psychoacoustic effects” of sonority.
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