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Chubby Leftovers

Here’s a video made using Processing and ChucK communicating via OSC. Originally I worked on this software for a performance at the Subtropics festival with Chübsteppe (CHaotic ÜBerSynasthetic Tele-Electro-acoustic Pop Performance Enclave), a laptop trio including Carlos Dominguez, Ryan Maguire and myself. The video engine is made in Processing and is controlled via OSC messages. I use ChucK for sound synthesis and for sending OSC messages to Processing to generate video that corresponds to the audio. In an ensemble setting we have the video engine on a server to which we all send messages. Each user controls one or more groups of rectangles that all appear on the same screen. By altering a variety of parameters one can modify properties of the rectangles and animate them. I’ve developed a number of generative audio systems in ChucK with corresponding animations, the video briefly surveys some of them.

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Rounds

Recently I have become interested in rounds. This is probably due to spending too much time with Larry Polansky, a composer who writes and collects many rounds, some of which can be seen here.

The first round I’d like to share is one that I recovered for Larry’s retirement from Dartmouth College. It was found in a catacomb of cardboard boxes in a dusty archive, and interpreting Jim Tenney’s chicken scratch was a Herculean task. However, it was worth it as we got a chance to surprise Larry and sing it at his party. Another surprise was how difficult it is to get a room full of music professors to agree on one tempo.

Many of the singers spent more years in school than the number of beats in a measure, but counting to 5 is still hard.

Many of the singers spent more years in music graduate school than the number of beats in a measure, but counting to 5 is still hard.

The next round is one that I wrote for my friend and colleague Jess Thompson‘s birthday. This one had MIDI accompaniment (the gold standard of music formats) which helped because none of the guests did their homework and learned the melody before the party. We also ate cookies.

It's the thought the counts (but it's the MIDI that really means something)

It’s the thought the counts (but it’s the MIDI that really means something)

WordPress won’t let me upload the MIDI so I will have to host it somewhere else. (soon!)

Upon graduating from Dartmouth College and leaving New Hampshire I was inspired to write the following round:

Hanover Hell

Ye Olde New Music Fest

The 35th annual Celebration of Music at Dartmouth took place on May 7th, 2013 at Spaulding Auditorium in the Hopkins Center Hanover, NH. Featuring guest ensemble TILT Brass, Ye Olde New Music Festival was an evening length concert premiering many new works by Dartmouth composers and performers. The concert was only one event amidst a busy week including the Dartmouth Digital Arts Exhibition (more details about this soon), a special Green Fish performance by Crystal Mooncone and a week-long hackathon at Dartmouth’s FabLab.

First reading of Carlos Dominguez's nearly there

First reading of Carlos Dominguez’s nearly there

TILT Brass began their residency on Sunday reading new works by student, faculty and staff composers. Pieces were written for the the whole line up (2 trombones, 3 trumpets, french horn, tuba and percussion) and various subsets with and without electronics. On Monday they did a reading of student works in Professor Spencer Topel‘s orchestration class.

They wanted to sit down but I wouldn't let them.

They wanted to sit down but I wouldn’t let them.

Here is the program for Tuesday’s concert along with videos of John King‘s Hammerbone and their performance of my piece Unfair Tournament (erroneously named Unfair Competition in the program). TILT’s residency was by all measures a success and I am very pleased to have had the honor of working with them.

Unfair Tournament

This piece was written for and premiered by TILT Brass at the Ye Olde New Music Festival at Dartmouth College. The players compete in a series of events: The longest glissando, the fastest trill and the sappiest melody. Determining the winner is trivial and is left as an exercise for the student.

The Dream Team at Dartmouth

Following Green Orpheus’s Call for Works, The Dream Team came to Dartmouth College for their mini-residency, featuring a workshop with composers, multiple pop-up performances and an evening concert at Rollin’s Chapel.

poster by Alexander Dupuis (http://alexanderdupuis.com/)

poster by Alexander Dupuis (http://alexanderdupuis.com/)

The residency started off with a reading session in which Dartmouth composers got to work with The Dream Team. This allowed them to test out pieces and discuss the intricacies of instrumentation and ensemble dynamics.

dream team reading carlos

The Dream Team working on “soften the blow” by Carlos Dominugez.

We had pop-up performances throughout the Dartmouth campus. This helped to promote the event as well as expose different portions of the Dartmouth community to music they wouldn’t normally hear, in places where they often don’t hear music.

dream team higher ground 2

People thought they could just eat their bagels in silence but it didn’t happen.

dream team one wheelock

The guy taking a nap in the chair got a front row seat.

dream team library 3

Nobody actually studies in this part of the library.

dream team courtyard cafe

Nothing goes better with New Hampshire style taco salads than a harmonium.

dream team 1903 room 2

The girl hogging the couch had her interest piqued.

The concert was held in Rollin’s Chapel, the acoustics were amazing and despite the large size of the hall we managed to pull everyone in close for an intimate setting.

concert chit chat

Some people chit chat while others break down equipment.

The Dream Team played seven new pieces by five Dartmouth composers. The pieces varied enormously in aesthetics, structure and intention. They were all very demanding of the ensemble’s focus and musicianship and The Dream Team rose to the occasion.

in between

Soaking in the applause in between pieces.

You can see the rest of the pieces on the concert’s program.

They were kind enough to perform three of my pieces, two of which you can hear via the links below.

The House Special and Survival of the Concupiscent.

The first piece is similar in style to a work I wrote for TIGUE called Cinque, while Survival… was a competition between the performer’s similar in process to a genetic algorithm.

The entire concert was recorded and more audio/video should be available soon.

This event was generously supported by the Office of the President, Office of the Provost, and the Dartmouth Centers Forum as part of Dartmouth’s Year of the Arts initiative. Green Orpheus would like to thank all of those sponsors as well as the Dartmouth music department for their help in making this possible.

Green Orpheus Call for Works

Green Orpheus, in collaboration with the Year of the Arts is happy to announce a call for works for the music trio The Dream Team (harmonium, electric guitar, tenor saxophone).

Selected pieces will be read/workshopped (Feb. 14th) and performed (Feb. 15th) at Dartmouth College while the ensemble is in residence.

All Dartmouth community members: students, faculty and staff are encouraged to submit scores, by 2/6/13, for this group.

(submissions may be sent to GreenOrpheusMusic@gmail.com)

Any concerns regarding instrumentation or questions for the ensemble may be directed to dreamteamensemble@gmail.com

About the group:

” The Dream Team is an experimental music ensemble. Formed in the summer of 2012, the ensemble toured the entire united states, performing concert halls, clubs, galleries, warehouses, bedrooms, basements and outdoors. The Dream Team is dedicated to new works and has received pieces from composers young and old and from all over, including Andrew C Smith, Jürg Frey, Craig Shepard and Tom Crean. The ensemble’s members are Jack Callahan, guitar; Mustafa Walker, harmonium; and David Kant, tenor saxophone. The ensemble is currently preparing for an lp release.”

MIDI Jamz on Ice

Last November was the 2nd annual MIDI Jamz concert hosted by Green Orpheus at Dartmouth College.

group midi jam

This year featured an international call for works and competition for the best MIDI submissions.

The MIDI Jamz concert series celebrates the now 30 year old technology MIDI, short for Music Instrument Digital Interface. We showcase music created for or generated exclusively by MIDI. We encourage abandoned works from Sibelius/Finale that will never be realized by acoustic ensembles as well as purely electronic pieces.

group midi jam 3

Here is a recording of the concert complete with MCing by Chet Checkers and Franky Franklin. You’ll have to listen to the end to find out the winners!

We’d like to thank the Dartmouth Graduate Student Council and Dartmouth Department of Music for their financial support.