( For Piano, Radio Baton and Scanned Synthesis )
To write with ink using feather or roller ball. Better yet how do we express a signature in pencil or word processor. But there is choice with satisfaction and reaction in gestures created on paper with feather and ink. This choice is one to none. In this composition expression is created by using a live piano a Radio Baton and Scanned Synthesis. Furthermore, instead of feather and ink this piece was composed using the Common Music, Common Music Notation and Max Mathews' Scanned Synthesis program only with the PlanetCCRMA Linux environment.
[ Live performance compressed mix of ``Feather Rollerball'' May 19, 2003 ]
- Ann Yi (Piano)
- Juan Reyes (Radio Baton)
- Jay Kadis (Sound Engineer)
This composition was commissioned by Max Mathews and is based on the vibrational properties of a musical sound. Scanned Synthesis is used as the underlying material by processing sound textures and the resulting timbre is achieved by the modeling of spring systems with masses and by scanning and manipulating these springs which give different and time changing spectra. Control is achieved by mathematical modeling reaction to the haptics of the spring with a Radio Baton. The sound of Scanned Synthesis is then contrasted with the sound of the piano but in particular to phase and vibrational modes of its strings. Long notes on the piano are juxtaposed to synthesis material and short notes to the percussive nature of some Scanned Synthesis presets.
Scanned Synthesis is based on the psychoacoustics of how we hear and appreciate timbres and on our motor (haptic) abilities to manipulate timbres during performance. It involves a slow dynamic system whose frequencies of vibration are below 15Hz. The system is directly manipulated by motions of the performer. The vibrations of the system are a function of the initial conditions, the forces applied by the performer and the dynamics of the system.