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Michael EDWARDS flung me, foot trod
Michael Edwards was born in Cheshire, England in 1968. After taking oboe lessons he began composing, studying with Adrian Beaumont at Bristol University. He graduated with first class honors in 1989 and stayed on at Bristol to complete a Master of Music degree which was awarded in 1992. During this time he also studied privately with Gwyn Pritchard and Simon Bainbridge, and undertook an investigation of electro-acoustic techniques. Michael moved to California in 1991 for further studies in computer music with John Chowning at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics at Stanford University. He graduated from Stanford with a doctorate in composition in 1996. flung me, foot trod takes its title from the Gerard Manley Hopkins sonnet, "Carrion Comfort." This is urgent, violent, exciting poetry, but it was not until I read some of Hopkins' own notes to the verse that I felt particularly drawn to pilfering a title from him. He writes of one word, "rude", that must be enunciated with force, "in an uncouth, violent, barbarous manner." This, if anything, summarizes the articulation necessary to interpret my piece. In preparing the tape, I sampled selected portions of the solo part. In particular I concentrated on some of the more unorthodox sounds an alto saxophone can make: key clicks, breath noise, growling etc. For demonstrating these sounds I am very grateful to Gary Scavone who gave freely of his time and tolerated my often outlandish requests. Indeed, the whole piece is aimed at utilizing his slick virtuosity. Armed with these samples, it was my intention to create sounds that go far beyond the timbral qualities of the saxophone. Although the tape sometimes presents recognizable saxophone sounds, on the whole it is in its own sonic realm,marrying itself with the solo part only in its presentation of similar material types (driving rhythms, scurrying textures etc.). It was not my intention to create the effect of an "orchestra of saxophones", or to have the saxophone play against itself on tape. On the contrary, flung me, foot trod takes its precedent from the solo concerto, pitting two unequal forces against each other, their only common ground being material and, hence, structure. On the more technical side, the samples were processed using Bill Schottstaedt's Common Lisp Music, the note lists were created with Heinrich Taube's Common Music, and the mixing was accomplished with Paul Lansky's Real Time Mixer application„all on the NeXT computer.