Showing posts from December, 2021

Ranz-des-vaches in L'écho des armaillis

I used several ranz-des-vaches melodies in the composition L'écho des armaillis, for alphorn & live electronics . I sourced the melodies from the compilation Sammlung von Schweizer-Kühreihen und Volksliedern ( Collection of Swiss ranz-des-vaches and folk songs ) - mostly the third edition (1818) and the fourth edition (1826) . In the composition, you can hear the ranz-des-vaches from: Appenzeller Ormonds (Gruyère) Oberhasler Emmenthaler Ormonds (other melody) Entlebucher I also used this litany of cow names collected in the French Alps: Noisette, Jonquille, Pervenche, Reine, Violette, Papillon, Fleur de Lys, Paulette, Gentiane, Rosalie, Bleuette, Pivoine, Rosette. You can read them in this excerpt from our performance score: To know more about the alphorn and its use by composers, read Frances Jones's dissertation: The alphorn in western art music : a cultural and historical study .

Alphorn & live electronics: L'écho des armaillis

The armailli, a cattleman, spends the summer on the alp with a herd of cows. The milk produced in these mountains gives cheese a unique taste. In some places, cows are trained to recognize their own ranz-des-vaches , i.e. the specific alphorn call of their cattleman. When the armailli plays the alphorn, rock faces and fir trees answer with echoes of different characters. This composition features ancestral melodies whose echoes you can still hear when you hike in the Swiss and French Alps.

Cowbells & washboard on stage

Wednesday, December 8: authentic Swiss cow bells & washboard on stage in the Voxman Concert Hall. Ready for the premiere of a new piece for alphorn & live electronics, with Katy Ambrose.

LOUi: the Looper Concert!

In the fall of 2021, I taught the LOUi ensemble (Laptop Orchestra at the University of Iowa) online. With a great group of six students, we learnt about the tradition of looper performances. Every student installed the Logelloop looper software and composed a new piece using it. The concert took place with a very limited audience (just the members of the course) and was streamed live. Here are a couple of experts that show a great diversity of aesthetic approaches: even though the students used the same software, they really managed to keep their creations very personal. Knoflicek by Lou Barker hey buddy by Trinton Prater Haynes Manual by Will Yager ...but will the witch drown? by Matt Mason Wanderlust, by Michael May Revibrational, by Ross Clowser