Noteworthy by wuyunyi


									Electronic Music, Fall 2002 Analysis Paper Assignment
Every student must pick an electronic music composer and piece by this person (your choice must be a piece that features electronic sounds), and write a five-page paper discussing the work chosen. 1. Choose an artist: Pick a composer from the list below; or, if you prefer, choose another (with permission from Doug). 2. Research: Learn about this person using books, periodicals, recordings, the web, and, if possible, an interview via email with the composer. 3. Write: Organize and condense your findings into a paper that is five pages, double-spaced. In your paper, give an brief overview of this person and then focus on one piece to discuss/analyze. Answer the following questions in your paper:  What is interesting to you about this person’s work?  What kinds of technology has this person used and how?  How did this person come to do electronic music?  How is this music traditional? How is it non-traditional? Identify “themes” you hear, in terms of melodies, rhythms, particular sounds/timbres, and/or patterns of these.  Can you say what this music is “about”? What drives it, what holds it together, what gives it form?  Make a diagram that shows the form of this piece. How many sections do you hear? Note timings of section boundaries. How are new sections articulated? Describe and/or draw the sonic attributes of each major section  What happens in this piece that is unique to electronic music? (Panning, morphing, backwards sounds, synthesized sounds, filtered sounds, stretched sounds, etc.) Point out specific places where these happen in the piece. Some Noteworthy Electronic/Computer Music Composers (in roughly chronological order) John Cage (USA) - Cage spent his entire career pushing the boundries of music composition, including exactly what sounds—or lack of them—could be considered to be music. He used electronics in several pieces through his career, including: Cartridge Music, Williams Mix, and HPSCHD Pierre Schaeffer/Pierre Henri (France) - Schaeffer invented musique conréte, which is the first kind of composition with samples; active beginning in late 1940s, (using turntables, at first, until tape recorders came available). Henry quickly joined him & produced more extended works: Etude aux Chemins de Fer, Symphonie pour un Homme Seul, Variations on a Door and a Sigh Karlheinz Stockhausen (Germany)


Well-known modernist composer who wrote some of the first classics of EM during 1950s & into the 70s: Gesange der Junglinge, Kontakte, Mixtur, Telemusik, Hymnen, Stimmung

Iannis Xenakis (Greece) - 1st Composer to utilize sophisticated mathematics to structure his compositions (now used by many computer music composers), beginning in late 1950s; 1st composer to use granular concept of sound in composition: Metastasis, Bohor, ST/48-1,240162, Diatope, S.709 Luciano Berio (Italy) - Accomplished acoustic composer who wrote a small number of accomplished electronic pieces in the 1960s & 70s: Visage, Thema--Ommagio a Joyce Louis and Bebe Barron (USA) - Working together, they wrote the first all-electronic Film soundtrack (for the film Forbidden Planet) in 1958: Forbidden Planet Soundtrack Francis Dhomont (Canada) Active beginning in 1950s; helped develop ideas of “acousmatic” music—fixed medium pieces in which samples, generally short and non-harmonic, are extensively developled: Letter from Sarajevo, L'air du large Milton Babbitt (USA) - One of the most influential proponents of serial composition in the United States, Babbitt also helped create the Columbia/Princeton Electronic Music Center in the late 1950s and created several major works using the famous RCA Mark II synthesizer from 1960-1975: Philomel, Phenomena, Vision and Prayer Morton Subotnik (USA) - Worked in 1960s with Don Buchla to develop modular analog synthesizers; one of first composers to use a sequencer; later in his career he has worked with rhythmic live MIDI accompaniments to acoustic instruments: Silver Apples of the Moon, The Wild Bull, Touch, Jacob’s Room, Key to Songs Luigi Nono (Italy) - Nono wrote several noteworthy works that combine instruments and technology, including large-scale works such as opera. Pauline Oliveros (USA) - Active beginning in 1960s: Much exploration of using technology for improvisation; founder of the Deep Listening Band: I of IV, Time Perspectives, Deep Listening Jean Claude Risset (France) - Active beginning in 1960s: One of first to compose with computer, exploring techniques unique to its medium: Inharmonique, Sud Mario Davidovsky (Argentina) - Created a series of pieces for soloist and recorded electronics called “Synchronisms” in the late 1960s and into the 70s. The idea of these pieces was to expand the sound of the instrument with the electronic

sounds, and to place the two into a conversation-like relationship: Synchronisms #1-9 Alvin Lucier (USA) - An eccentric who has created pieces using pure sine tones, brain waves, and even an amplified teapot: Clocker, I Am Sitting in a Room, Music for Solo Performer Charles Dodge (USA) - Began serious computer music work in the late 1960s, and came to prominence in the mid-1970s because of his innovative compositions using synthesized speech: Any Resemblance is Purely Coincidental, Speech Songs, Viola Elegy Jonathan Harvey (Britain) - Accomplished acoustic composer who has written a number of accomplished electronic pieces in the 1970s-1990s: Mortuous Plango Vivos Voco, Bhakti Laurie Spiegel (USA) - Began composing with computers in 1973. Has used algorithmic techniques to compose, and has even written & sold her own music composition software: Three Sonic Spaces, Passage Horacio Vaggione (Argentina) - Regarded internationally as a master craftsman, Vaggione composes using ideas such as multiple simultaneous time scales, networks of objects, and the use of space as a musical parameter: KITAB, Agon, Thema Pierre Boulez (France) - Composer (active since 1940s), conductor, “inventor” of IRCAM: Anthèmes II, Répons, Dialogue de l'ombre double Tristan Murail (France) - Along with Gerard Grisey, one of the first composers of spectral music; uses computer to analyze spectral contents of sounds & uses this data as basis for microtonal harmony in his (mostly acoustic) compositions: Gondwana, Memoire Erosion, L’Esprit des Dunes Paul Lansky (USA) - From 1970s to the present, has combined use of algorithms for composition with exploration of methods to transform real-world sounds into music. Switched from writing atonal to tonal music in early 70s when this was widely considered ruinous to one’s career in U.S. academia: Idle Chatter, Table’s Clear, Not So Heavy Metal, Night Traffic Trevor Wishart (Britain) - Beginning in the 1970s, has composed noisy electronic music in which the form of the music arises from morphing sounds (usually samples of “nonmusical” real sounds) into each other and back: The Red Bird, Tongues of Fire Barry Truax (Canada) - Beginning in the 1970s, one of the first composers to explore granular synthesis composition of computer music. Developed the POD realtime

granular system during the 1980s. Also has explored soundscape composition: Rivverun, Solar Eclipse, Pacific Fanfare George Lewis (USA) - Avant jazz performer who, beginning in the late 1970s, has written and developed his own software-based intelligent instrument with which he can perform his own improvisational compositions: Voyager, Rainbow Family, Unison, Homage to Charles Parker Kaija Saariaho (Finland) - During a very successful career writing mostly instrumental music, she has written several pieces using sound processing and electronics: NoaNoa, Amers, Io, Nymphea Brad Garton (USA) - Migrated in 1980s from avant-rock to computer music; combines algorithmic composition techniques with stylistic influences ranging from Brian Eno to NIN: Soon, Dan’s Toys, Piano, Good Leadership Steve Reich (USA) - Minimalist composer who has used electronics in several major pieces: Different Trains, The Cave James Mobberly (USA) - Accomplished composer of “instrument + tape” pieces, most often using samples of instruments in the electronic part to complement the sounds of the live instrument: Icarus Wept, Beams, Into the Maelstrom Robert Normandeau (Canada) - Beginning in the 1980s, has developed idea of “cinema for the ear,” using real-world sounds and environmental recordings as material for fixed medium compositions: Le Renard et la Rose, Venture, Mémoires Vives Mari Kimura (Japan/USA) - Virtuoso violinist who performs and writes interactive works for violin and laptop that she plays herself: ECO, Gemini, Izquierda y Derecha Phil Kline (USA) - Composer who has created many pieces using multiple simultaneous playback from large numbers of boomboxes: Shadow Traffic, Chant, The Holy City of Ashtabula Trent Reznor (USA) - As the creative force behind Nine Inch Nails, he has crafted very rich computer music works in the industrial/techno tradition: Downward Sprial, The Fragile Aphex Twin (Britain) - Has taken sounds of techno to sonically sophisticated places, using diverse sounds and sputtering rhythmic materials: Richard D. James Album, Aphex Twin—Drukqs, Selected Ambient Works 85-92 Natasha Barrett (Britain/Norway)


Beginning in the mid-1980s, has written acoustic and computer music pieces formally modeled after natural phenomena, chemical processes, etc.: Utility of Space, Red Snow, Bouyant Charm

Dan Trueman (USA) - Composer & violinist who writes and performs for his own hybrid, controller-laden violin, often as part of the group Interface: Study in Grain and Shadow, dis-(re)locations, Machine Language Luke DuBois (USA) - Solo and with his group, the Freight Elevator Quartet (analog synths, DJ, digeridoo/synth, and cello), has explored the sounds of techno, jungle, and connections with more abstract electronic music: Jungle Album, Becoming Transparent

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