Mills College Music Department and the Center for Contemporary Music Present
CCM + Alvin Lucier
Friday, November 4, 1994, 8 p.m. Mills College Concert Hall Oakland, California
Duo Chris Brown
Thomas Djll, amplified trumpet Chris Brown, live electronics
The Web of Fascination (1994) John Bischoff
John Bischoff, live electronics
composed and performed by Alvin Lucier
Music for Piano with One or More Snare Drums
Music for Piano with Slow Sweep Pure Wave Oscillators
Nothing is Real (Strawberry Fields Forever)
The Center for Contemporary Music
Chris Brown, Co-Director Maggi Payne, Co-Director David Madole, Technical Director John Bischoff, Studios Coordinator
This concert is sponsored in part by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Alvin Lucier's appearance is funded by Meet the Composer/California, with support from Meet the Composer, Inc., National Endowment for the Arts, ARCO Foundation, Dayton Hudson Foundation, California Arts Council, and the City of Los Angeles Cultural Affairs Department.
Please turn off audible electronic pagers and alarm watches. No seating during the performance of a piece.
Tom Djll studied at Berklee School of Music, 1974, The Colorado College, 1975-79, Creative Music Studio, Woodstock, New York, with Art Ensemble of Chicago, Anthony Braxton, Leo Smith, George Lewis, Richard Teitelbaum, Gerald Oshita, Karl Berger, etc, 1978-80. Currently completing MFA program at Mills CCM.
Founder/member of bands/gangs CIRCUMSTANCES, Santa Cruz Renegade Artists and Musicians Society (SCRAMS), Improvisers' Orch. (Santa Cruz), THE PHILOSOPHERS, Improvised Music Association (IMA), STRITCH, Improvisers' Orch. (San Francisco), Splatter 3+2, et. Recordings on Recommended Records, Rastascan, Tragic Mule, Soul on Rice (CD release, September 1993: MUTOOTATOR), CreatiVentures, Arcana (TBR).
Chris Brown has performed his music throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe, including at five different New Music America Festivals, at the STEIM Symposium on Interactive Composition in Amsterdam, the Bourges Festival of Electroacoustic Music in France, the Taktlos Festival in Switzerland, the Moers Festival, and for West Deutsche Rundfunk in Cologne and Denmark's Radio, Copenhagen. Other recent performances have included Composer's Forum in New York, LACE in Los Angeles, a collaboration with the new music ensemble Relach in Philadelphia, and duo concerts with William Winant at the Kunstmuseum, Bern and the University of California/San Diego.
He has received commissions for works from the Berkeley Symphony, the Rova Saxophone Quartet (supported by a Meet the Composer/Reader's Digest grant), and most recently from the Wallace A. Gerbode Foundation for "Lava", an evening length work for brass, percussion, and electronics.
Chris Brown's recordings include a solo CD "Snakecharmer" for Artifact Recordings in 1989, and as a collaborator on "The Hub - Computer Network Music", also on Artifact. His music is also featured on "Room", the debut album for this group released in 1989 by Sound Aspects , and a new release "Hall of Mirrors" on the Music & Arts label. He also appeared on Wayne Horvitz' 1988 Elektra release "This New Generation".
John Bischoff studied composition with James Tenney at the California Institute of the Arts and Robert Ashley at Mills College. Since 1973 he has been creating electronic music both for solo performer and in computer network bands. He has performed extensively in the San Francisco Bay Area for 20 years, at New Music America festivals in 1981 in San Francisco and 1989 in New York, and in Europe including the Festival d'Automne in Paris, Fylkingen in Stockholm, and the Akademie der Knste in Berlin.
He is a founding member of The League of Automatic Music Composers, the first computer network band, and co-authored an article on the League's music that appears in "Foundations of Computer Music", MIT Press (1985). He currently performs with the network band The Hub and works as Studios Coordinator at the CCM. He is also Co-Director of ARTIFACT RECORDINGS, a local label devoted to documenting an important experimental music tradition.
The Web of Fascination (1994)
The Web of Fascination is fourth in a series of pieces based on software tools that I have been developing, using the language HMSL, since 1990. These tools enable me to randomly search for electronic sounds, to save and recall the parameter settings for those that I like, and to execute incremental transformations from one sound to the next.
The primary sound generating instrument that I have used in developing these tools is a Yamaha TX81Z. More recently, I have incorporated a Peavey DPM-V3 synthesizer in a similar fashion. The differences between the four pieces in the series lie in the unique sounds found for each work, the manner in which those sounds are recalled, and the role a performer has in playing the piece through a 2-octave MIDI keyboard.
In tonight's piece, I also make use of a Digital Signal Processing computer attached to my system which runs a simple noise processing circuit activated by the performer.
The Web of Fascination sets both synthesizers running in tandem through a fixed sequence of sonic textures. The length and transformation rate of each texture can be varied by the performer. The performer can also introduce displacements in the contour of each texture as well as trigger and modify sounds from the noise circuit. Variations introduced in the left hand octave are temporary while modifications introduced in the right are permanent.
I think of software as having mass, of hardware as being weightless. My computer program seems to expend effort in moving these large sounds around. I try to use this simulated physicality to connect the listener viscerally to electronic sound and its production in real time. In using a musical technology whose physical definition appears open it seems appropriate to define a sense of material origin within the music itself.
Chris Brown: Performed by Tom Djll, amplified trumpet; Chris Brown, live electronics
This piece, first performed at the New Music America Festival in New York in 1990, is an improvisation between two players, one playing any amplified acoustic instrument, and the other playing a MIDI keyboard that controls an electronic resonator which repeats and recirculates the sound of the instrument.
I am interested in the ability of electronic instruments to create a different kind of ensemble relationship between performers in which all are symbiotically producing a single sound. There is a crossing of instrumental territories here, in which both players are together responsible for the whole, and the whole is inseparable into parts.
I have performed this piece with various instrument sources including hand-percussion, cello, double-bass, trombone, and bassoon - this is the first realization tonight for trumpet.
The electronic resonator is (so far) always a Lexicon LXP1, and during the course of the piece all six reverb algorithms are heard, which forms a consistent modulating structure for the piece. A computer program interprets the MIDI keystrokes to control all the available parameters on the resonator, including the delay length, the number and loudness of echos, filter settings, reverb densities, etc. I have also recently added quaderaphonic spatialization and some analog processing of the reverberated sound to the electronic instrument.