Eclectic I

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Technology Journal week 4 Submission

Workshop with David Harris

The First half of this workshop was an introduction to 4 modern composers who each have connections to Yale University in America. Jack Vees*1,
Ingram Marshall*2,
David Lang*3
and Michael Gordon*4. Each has distinct styles of composition. David Lang is even the co-founder of the popular musical festival “Bang On a Can.” A piece by each of these composers was played.

In the second half of the workshop, David Harris performed 3 of his compositions to the assembled technology degree students. The first of which was taking inspiration from the composer Jack Vees. “Throwing something into a machine to see what happens*5” was how Harris described this work; the machine in this instance being a piano. It was a high energy piece which revolved around a repeating pattern of small notes with an isometric rhythm*6. By holding down the sustain pedal the entirety of the piece, a vast coloration of overtones*7 and en-harmonics were created. The texture of sound was quite awesome to listen to.

The second piece was a recording of a composition for two violins. Via use of long glissando’s*8, Quarter tones and 6th tones, opposing rhythms and various other techniques, Harris quite clearly expanded on his early fascination with overtones. Although quite more advanced, I personally preferred the first piece over this one. The first piece had a lot more overall texture. While this one created interesting textures, they were a bit more sparse and “controlled.”

The final piece was a much earlier piece composed in honor of Pierre Boulez*9 attending the 1990 Adelaide Festival. Ironically the piece was actually homage to the composer John Cage*10. It was a minimalist piece which used very dissonant sounding intervals.

Audio Arts

A quick review on the I/O signal and bussing commenced the lesson this week. From there an expansion onto headphone monitoring and distribution followed. This was a pretty strait forward lesson, but something that obviously needed to be covered to help future studio use. I spent 15 minutes of my own time in the studio to ensure I understood it all. The readings were just a documented form of what we learnt. Although they could be useful to go back to if any problems arise.

Creative Computing

Sound editing for Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) formatted samples was the focus of this week’s class. Peak LE was introduced to the class as a main editor of PCM formatted samples. Some of the main problems with editing within the program and with using PCM sound files were addressed also. Artifacts from using a discrete representation of sound (such as clicks) were listed, and the ways in which to prevent them from according or fixing them should they arise was covered in great length. I am pleased that we are moving onto other programs next lesson as I used Peak LE last year.

*1Leasure Planet Music “Biographical Material” Jack Vees. 2005. (25 March 2006).

*2 Other Minds. “Ingram marshall” biography. 2004 (27 March 2006).

*3 Other Minds. “David Lang” Biography. 2004. (27 March 2006).

*4 Ryan, Norman/Artman Deborah. “Michael Gordon” Biography. March 2004. (27 March 2006).

*5 David Harris. “Music Technology Workshop.” Lecture Presented at University of Adelaide, 23 March 2006.

*6 Bent, Margaret. “Isorhythm” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.13950 (25 March 2005).

*7 Campbell, Murray. “Overtone” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.20615 (24 March 2006).

*8 Boyden, David.D./Stowel, Robin. “Glissando” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.11282 (24 March 2006).

*9 Hopkins, G.W./ Griffiths, Paul. “Boulez Pierre” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.03708 (25 March 2006).

*10 Pritchett, James. “Cage John” Grove Music Online. 2006.§ion=music.49908 (25 March 2006).

Picture References
(in order of appearance)

#1 google. "Jack Vees" google image search. 2006. (25 March 2006).

#2 Annie, Gossfield. "Ingram Marshall: todays music tommorow" New music box. 2005. (25 March 2006).

#3 Peter, Serling. "Composer: David Lang." 2006. (25 March 2006).


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