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Arcology Chris Chafe, Celletto My cello interests were transformed after coming to Stanford in 1978 to study composition and music research at the Center for Computer Music in Research and Acoustics (CCRMA). Chamber music and improvisation opportunities led to new works incorporating computers, which led to building the celletto, an electric cello in 1988. Its string pickups and electronics were designed by Max Mathews and a method for translating bow motion into MIDI was designed with the help of Jay Kadis, using an accelerometer and strain gauge. Another MIDI device used in several works on this disc is the Lightning from Buchla Associates. It uses infrared for position sensing to track the bow arm. Initially, the celletto was my ticket to join the fun keyboard players were having with live MIDI-based computer synthesis. It has turned out to be a much more long-term project as increasing possibilities for sophisticated audio computing and software synthesis become ready for the stage. The celletto remains a work-in-progress as sensing, synthesis and processing algorithms are explored and continues to pose good questions about computer instruments yet to come. A variety of computer music machines heard in the music provide examples of the recent history of these devices. Fred Malouf's [italics] Sacrifice [end italics] , the earliest work, was computed on a main frame computer in real time with CCRMA's workhorse synthesizer of 15 years, the Samson Box (retired in the early 90's). The disc's opening track is a montage made using the digital audio editing capabilities of a single, modern desktop computer. Representing the shift to MIDI-based devices are three ensemble pieces (tracks 2, 3, and 5). Sampling and digital signal processing are used in Morrill's [italics] Salzburg Variations [end italics]. Physical modeling is heard in [italics] Arcology [end italics] using both hardware and workstation-based synthesis. Time is the Friend dates from a residency at the Banff Centre for the Arts, the other works composed by Chafe were created at CCRMA, Stanford University. Several more pieces have been written for celletto, including those by Ching-Wen Chao, Jose Montalvo, Fernando Lopez-Lezcano, Yang Lu, Fred Malouf, and Antonio Russek. 1 Time is the Friend 5:30 Chafe multi-tracked celletto (1999) Studio techniques were used to re-compose material from the film sound track of "Riding the Tiger," Kris Samuelson and John Haptas, producers / directors. A voice in this documentary on the American war in Vietnam tells us, "Time is not the enemy, time is the friend." 2 Arcology 4:45 Chafe/Walton celletto, disklavier, computer accompaniment (1995-96) Scott Walton and I have performed together as an improvisational duo on a number of occasions accompanied by computers. Arcology is the product of two concerts in California. Interaction systems were used to perform phantom parts on four instruments: disklavier, synthesis of FM piano, and physical modeling of strings and bassoon. NeXT workstation: interaction system, pitch tracking, synthesis and digital signal processing. Bow arm and pianist tracking: Buchla Lightning. FM and physical modeling synthesis: Yamaha DX-7 II and VL-1. 3 Pulse, Friction, Blues, End 12:00 Chafe/Morrill celletto, trumpet, mridangam, computer accompaniment (1996) With improvisers Dexter Morrill (trumpet) and Rusty Gillette (mridangam), this session was recorded over a weekend at Colgate University. The form is structured in four parts which play off of material from earlier compositions, including Free Motion (Chafe) and NeXT Trumpet (Morrill). NeXT workstation: interaction system, pitch tracking. Bow arm tracking: Buchla Lightning FM synthesis: Yamaha TX-802. Digital signal processing: Korg Wavestation. 4 Salzburg Variations 10:48 Morrill celletto and pre-recorded computer accompaniment (1994) The variations were created for Chris Chafe in 1994 and premiered at the Salzburg Aspekte Festival. The piece consists of a digital tape produced by the composer at the Colgate University Computer Music Studio, using MIDI-based devices plus a few sound recordings. The structure of the tape is loosely based on the blues, both melodic thematic material and simple sections of sound texture. The performer improvises freely on this material also with some pitch tracking of the cello and processed sounds from his strings. The composer "performs" with him, helping to achieve an interesting live mix of celletto sounds, Morpheus sounds produced by the celletto, and the digital tape sounds. Tracking: NeXT workstation. Synthesis: Emu Morpheus, Yamaha TX-802. 5 Remote Control 13:12 Chafe Tonus Finalis Ensemble Chris Chafe, celletto, Stanislaw Krupowicz, keyboards, Fred Malouf, electric guitar (1993) Remote Control was written for an ensemble which performed together from 1992 - 1994. The piece is fusion music in the literal psychoacoustic sense. The players achieve a perfectly fused texture and can only make themselves heard as individuals by pulling away from the whole. Each performs using identical FM sounds on Yamaha TX-802 synthesizers. 6 Sacrifice 7:43 Malouf celletto and pre-recorded computer accompaniment (1989) The music concerns an introspective piece/subject, for which the composer did not want to blatantly impose his multitude of emotions on the listener. Out of this desire came the idea of using noise as a source and using filtering to control the shape of various musical lines. Noise is neutral, which allows the listener a certain amount of internal freedom. The simplicity of the piece also allows this kind of space for exploration. The recording here begins with the middle of the piece which represents a moment of clarity - the moment in which the piece was conceived. Accompanying recording: Samson Box About the composers: Scott Walton, composer/improviser and pianist/bassist, has performed with and composed for interdisciplinary improvisation ensembles throughout the U.S., has commissioned and premiered works by numerous composers, was an award winner in the Florida West Coast Chopin Competition, and has served on the staffs of the San Francisco Ballet and the American College Dance Festival. As a jazz bassist, he has recorded for Soul Note and Revelation Records. His most recent CD, as pianist with the Octagon Ensemble for New Music, presents works by several California-based composers. Walton is currently teaching and pursuing doctoral studies at the University of California, San Diego. Dexter Morrill was born in North Adams, Massachusetts in 1938. He studied composition with William Skelton, Leonard Ratner and Robert Palmer. During the 1960's, he was a Ford Foundation Young Composer Fellow in University City, Missouri. Since 1971, Morrill has been the Director of the Computer Music Studio at Colgate University, where he is the Charles A. Dana Professor of Music. His computer music compositions have received performances in the United States, Canada, Australia, Great Britain, Poland, Czechoslovakia and most Western European countries. Morrill was a Guest Researcher at IRCAM in 1980, a Visiting Professor of Music at SUNY Binghamton and Stanford Universities, and has spent a part of his time doing research on the analysis/synthesis of trumpet tones. He has received several composition grants from the New York State Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts, and other performing organizations. Morrill has also worked on special jazz projects for Stan Getz and Wynton Marsalis, and is the author of A Guide to the Big Band Recordings of Woody Herman published by the Greenwood Press. His recordings are available on the Golden Crest, Musical Heritage, Redwood and Centaur labels. Frederick L. Malouf received his Doctor of Arts in Composition and Computer Science from Ball State University and is also a graduate of Bowling Green State University and Berklee College of Music. In 1984 he was composer in residence at the Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics (Stanford University) under a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation. He is currently a software engineer with the sound group at Apple Computer, Inc.