The Music

Notes on Music at “Their Own Devices”

Posted by SoundBox

April 8, 2015

Tristan Perich: Observations

Tristan Perich’s work is inspired by the simplicity of math, physics, and code. His compositions have been described as “an austere meeting of electronic and organic,” and his 2004 album, 1-Bit Music, was the first album ever released as a microchip, programmed to synthesize his electronic composition live.

His award-winning work coupling 1-bit electronics (the simplest form of computing) with traditional forms in both music and visual art has been presented worldwide, from Sonar and Ars Electronica to the Whitney Museum and bitforms gallery. Perich’s Observations, for crotales and 1-bit microchips, creates a brilliant, constantly-changing tapestry of sound.

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Clara Iannotta: Àphones

Rome-born composer Clara Iannotta is interested in music as an existential, physical experience. She believes music should be seen as well as heard. Music, she says, is about the choreography of the sound rather than orchestration.

Àphones is a purely acoustic piece of music that builds a unique sound world by using conventional instruments in unconventional ways. Prepared piano, distorted string textures, modified harmonicas together embrace the extreme acoustics that are more often explored in electronic music.

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Samuel Adams: Shade Studies

Bay Area native Samuel Adams is a composer of acoustic and electro-acoustic music. His works draw from his experiences working in jazz, noise and electronic music, and field recording. He has received commissions from Carnegie Hall, the San Francisco Symphony, and Post:Ballet, among others.

Shade Studies examines the counterpoint between the acoustic resonance of the piano and digital sine waves. The music is quiet and built of cadences, silences, and repeated gestures. As the work unfolds, the two resonance systems engage through masking and illumination, creating a brief exploration of musical ‘shade.’

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Daniel Wohl: Saint Arc

Daniel Wohl, a Paris-born composer and producer who currently lives in Brooklyn, NY, is fascinated with all types of sounds, driving him to create pieces that “blur the line between electronic and acoustic instrumentation, and seemingly melt both elements into a greater organic whole.” 

He frequently collaborates with ensembles, artists, filmmakers and choreographers, bringing to life his vision for new music that connects the endless sonic possibilities of today's world with his classical compositional background. Wohl’s transcendent Saint Arc creates a cathedral of sound through sampling, inverting, and stretching the natural sound of the cello.

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Ted Hearne: Law Of Mosiacs

A composer, singer and bandleader, Ted Hearne provokes possibilities ranging across the entire terrain of music, creating a vibrant, personal and multi-dimensional voice. He is as comfortable in operatic and orchestral works as in rock and choral music. Hearne's compositions are socially engaging, exploring the complexity of contemporary experience with visceral power and raw emotional beauty.

Ted Hearne’s Law of Mosaics challenges the world of information overload and digital immersion. His extroverted Law of Mosaics is inspired by David Shields’s 2010 book, Reality Hunger: A Manifesto, a patchwork treatise on art and digital culture. Written for string orchestra, it uses techniques associated with pop music (remixing, sampling, mashups) to create a dense mosaic of ‘found objects’ that we know well.

But the music is also fragmented. Climaxes are out of place; introductions are stretched and hidden; whole sections are played in reverse. All of this raises the question: where do we find meaning in the absence of wholes?

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