Showing posts from December, 2019

Jamshid Jam

Update: check out the Jamshid Jam album, featuring Ramin Roshandel on setār and Jean-François Charles on live electronics . According to Persian myths, Jamshid "invented music." I was thrilled on Saturday night to perform with Ramin Roshandel and his setar our Jamshid Jam : I was playing my own live remixing instrument, and we attempted to, once again, discover music. All of the electronic music is produced live, from the sound of the setar. We don't use any pre-recorded audio. Also listen to Jamshid Jam, alternate take , during one of our rehearsals.


The Latin aeris is the genitive form for aer , "air" and for aes , "bronze," airain in French. In this piece, the natural resonances of a cymbal are highlighted through a feedback system. These metal resonances translate to audible air vibrations. Aeris fits in the tradition of pieces exploring the sound of metal, like Mikrophonie I . Frederick Skiff, Professor of Physics, explains how the cymbal sounds like a butterfly wandering through hyperspace. The picture was taken by Miranda Meyer on the day of Scientific Concert's première, October 27, 2019.

Mikrophonie I Excerpts

Mikrophonie I (1964) is a very important composition by Karlheinz Stockhausen, written for tam-tam and live electronics, to be performed by four percussionists and two musicians at the filters and sound projection. I had the great pleasure to perform the piece with the Ensemble Sillages in 2016. Percussionists were Hélène Colombotti, Maxime Echardour, Laurent Mariusse and Vincent Leterme; Stéphane Sordet and I were playing the filters and sound projection. Here are excerpts from our January 2016 performance of Mikrophonie I: Although a first glance at the score might suggest that the piece is all about experimentation and noise, numerous rehearsals and performances led me to realize that Stockhausen used quite traditional composition techniques. This is especially stunning when you consider the different sections, in which he uses polyphony, accompanied soli, or homorhythmic orchestral tutti. Mikrophonie outdoors After performing the piece in Brest and Paris , we performed outd

Trevor Wishart's Timbre Map for Strings

Here is an inspiring Timbre Map for Strings drawn by Composer Trevor Wishart . He presents different classes of sounds and connects them in a graphical way recalling the mind map technique: This map reminds me of how Helmut Lachenmann classifies sounds and sorts them along different types of scales. This thinking mixing timbre and instrumental gesture can be used in many different contexts. I copied this fascinating drawing from Trevor Wishart's book On Sonic Art . Another great read is Audible Design . Find more information about Trevor Wishart's work and writings on his web site . Think about an instrument: what would your timbre map look like? Timbre & Strings in Concert To listen to parts of this timbre map - and surely some sounds not included on this map, make sure you come to the JACK Quartet concert on Friday, December 6, at 7:30pm in the Voxman Music Building. These wonderful musicians are playing music by Sky Macklay , Luca Francesconi , Helmut Lachenman