Computer Music Journal Volume 15, Number 3 Fall 1991 MIT Press, 55 Hayward Street, Cambridge, Mass 02142 copyright 1991 MIT ISSN 0148-9267 excerpt from article: Summer Computer Music Festival, Frost Amphitheater Stanford University Palo Alto California USA by Todd Winkler 243w

concert on july 19 1990 = page 106 =

In David Jaffe's Impossible Animals, a bizarre, synthesized menagerie of half-bird/half-human voices shout out from various locations, while a solo violin makes a comic call-and-response dialogue with them. Jaffe gave a skillful and enthusiastic performance of his piece, playing along with a tape part that was created with the voice synthesis program Chant.

There are at least two versions of the work. It was originally written for chorus and tape. It is illuminating to note how fundamentally different the two compositions are, even though the tape remains unchanged.

In the choral version, the singers present a force that balances the tape. The interest is in the interplay of the human chorus and the synthetic animal chorus. The substitution of the violin presents an entirely different relationships. The relatively transparent violin line does not compete with the tape. Instead, it becomes the most prominent voice in a conglomerate sound world, another looney character engaging in a dialogue with these weird creatures.

This surreal aural imagery was created using a technique of mapping the frequency and amplitude trajectories of bird songs onto a set of evolving human vowel sounds.

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Typed by Cheryl Vega 4-28-95