Eclectic I

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Technology Journal week 2 Submission

Forum Speaker - Warren Burt

With a vast array of achievements and awards, Warren Burt’s cavalcade of projects and contributions to the electronic music world is nothing short of incredible. Born in 1949 Baltimore, Md. USA*1, he grew up taking part in a range of musical activities, including singing in church choirs, having private accordion and theory lessons and learning the flute in junior high school*2. According to Burt his musical career did not start until 1968 when he was 18 years*3, at which point in time he started studying musical composition at the State University of New York; Albany. One of the major highlights for Burt being that the university brought in actual composers for the students to apprentice with, including the likes of John Cage and Alvin Lucier. I am quite envious of him for this.

From there onwards becomes a challenge to summarise the mass of things Burt has worked upon. Many synthesisers have been built either in collaboration or individually by Burt. The majority of which were either modeled on the Serge modular synthesisers*4, moog synthesisers, or the series of “Aardvarks” synthesisers, which were unique ideas of his creation, used for various performance or installation pieces. “Aardvarks 4” for example was a digital electronic composing interactive synthesiser*5.

From composing a piece on a children’s animation program “Hollywood” based on a written work by Gertrude Stein*6 to designing and making tuning forks, each belonging to a 19 note to the octave scale based on Ancient Greek modes. (which were used with the Australian Choir Melbourne as means to have them instantly singing in Greek Modes.) Burt’s works are a constant amalgamation of seemingly childish and crass to ingenious and inspiring. This is part of an underlying concept to his works, the “both/and' situations are superior to `either/or' ones.*7”

His latest piece which was performed on Hindley street Adelaide on the 10 of March 2006, was an audio visual piece using algorithms generated by the program (which Burt co-created) “Art Wonk”

Burt has taken concepts and ideas of former contemporary greats such as “Cage” “Lucier” and “mathematical” greats such as “Xenakis,” to unique and unimaginable places. He has left me re-evaluating my ideals of aesthetic within music.

Audio Arts

Practical understanding of studio 2 was the focus of this weeks lesson. We were given a demonstration of how to set up a recording, and shown the signal path in which everything took by “mic'ing” up a radio and sending it through the mixer into “Pro Tools.” We were then set the task of repeating the process in our own time to ensure our capabilities. This proved to be an easy task and a class mate also showed me how to patch in the DP-4, which should prove to be a useful tool in the future.

Creative Computing

“Sound Preferences” and the “AMS” were the topics of the lesson this week. Although the class already had an understanding of these things from the readings set last week (and I knew from last year,) they were gone over in a practical manner with some basic note taking involved (mostly covering the IAC.) The readings set were some complex information relating to the Java code used within the Sound Preference and AMS setup.

*1 Unknown. “Warren Burt-Career highlights” A bibliography of Warren Burt. Unknown. (13 March 2006).

*2 NMA Publications Jenkins, John. “Warren Burt” NMA publications 22 contemporary Australian Composers. 2000. (13 March 2006).

*3 Burt, Warren. “A brief history of Warren Burt’s musical career.” Lecture presented at University of Adelaide, 9 March 2006.

*4 Grove Music Online. “Serge (Alexandrovich) Tcherepnin.” A bibliography of Serge (Alexandrovich) Tcherepnin. 2006.§ion=music.45587.3 (13 March 13, 2006).

*5 NMA Publications Jenkins, John. “Warren Burt” NMA publications 22 contemporary Australian Composers. 2000. (13 March 2006).

*6 Burk, Warren. Miss Furr and Miss Skeen. Mp3 sound recording. Found online at (13 March 2006).

*7 NMA Publications Jenkins, John. “Warren Burt” NMA publications 22 contemporary Australian Composers. 2000. (13 March 2006).

Picture Reference (in order of appearance.)

#1 Unkown. "Warren Burt." 2006. (26 May 2006).


Post a Comment

<< Home