Two Surreal Creatures Floating was written to accompany a dance piece choreographed by Louise Wurzelbacher, for the Cleveland Museum of Art. The piece is based on a painting by Gerome Kamrowski entitled Script for an Impossible Documentary: Part I - The Great Invisibles (1945). In the dance, the performer interacts with a sculpture built out of wood, construction paper, nails and twine and ends up tangled in her environment. The music utilizes the recorded sounds of those same materials, bent and mangled in similar ways to the sculpture. You can see a video of the dance here.
Opening (Ambient I) and Six Interpretations (Ambient II) are ambient pieces that utilize time stretching and pitch shifting techniques of live instruments such as electric piano, glockenspiel, guitar, and bass.
Physical Realms is made from recordings of things cracking, collapsing, and splintering, evoking themes of heartbreak and loss. It contains a sample of "I Get Along Without You Very Well (Except sometimes) by Chet Baker. There is an animation for this piece in the audiovisual section.
Rhythm Painting (For Steve Reid) is largely constructed from, though by no means limited to, samples of live drums. Sounds are sped up and slowed down beyond the point of recognition and blend into one another blurring the line between what is processed and what is not. Rhythm is the central focus of this piece, but more specifically the ways in which rhythm and gesture are not mutually exclusive. I am inspired by the late great Steve Reid who had the ability to turn a groove into a melody, or a solo into a large scale gesture. Similarly, in this piece elements such as rhythm, pulse, texture, and gesture are fluid, one always transforming into another. Thank you to Asher Bank and Ethan Cohen for contributing drums and to Noe Mina for contributing trumpet.
To create Reflections on the Arb, I went down to the Oberlin arboretum at night along with three glockenspiel players. Equipped with headlamps, the players set up around the length of the pond approximately equidistant from one another. A friend and I also stood on opposite sides of the pond in between the three players and recorded them using TASCAMs. I gave the players instructions to play mostly in D major and to leave lots and lots of space. If they heard another player go outside the key from across the pond, they were instructed to use their ear and follow suit. Other than that they were free to play whatever they wanted.
The next day I recorded outside again, but this time just with one glockenspiel player close up. I also recorded a vibraphone player in his practice room. I gave them all the same instructions as at the arb. With this recording, I tried to chart this trajectory from the faint reflecting bells on the pond at night to a closer more focused sound and finally to the dry sound of a practice room.
The players were:
Carson Fratus- Glockenspiel
Hunter Brown- Glockenspiel
Louis Pino- Glockenspiel
Matt DiBiase- Vibraphone