Music 220C: Nathan James Tindall

Final Update

The quarter has come to a close, and with it another composition has been completed! The piece features samples of a recording of a woman singing Enya's 'May It Be.' I took the time to splice the recording in different lengths and at different octaves before beginning composition, which increased the sonic pallate available to me. Two delay lines are present, each with a different delay time and frequency cutoff. Many of the parameters are automated, including the amount that each track sends to each delay. The piece is for four channels.

For the concert, I have rendered a for channel version of 'Verdant Dance', which I will be featuring along with this new composition.

All the things I have been working on this quarter can be found on Soundcloud (see below). It's been a great experience getting familiar with Ableton and I am constantly impressed by the software and what it is able to produce.

Week 8 Update

I have spent the majority of the last two weeks making edits and changes to the 'second' movement I described in my previous posting. The selection was played last night at the CCRMA GRAIL concert at Bing Concert Hall Studio. I have spent a good amount of time making adjmustments after hearing it through several different speakers and configuring it for Acousmatic diffusion to 32-channels using Elliot's new system. It's quite interesting how different it sounds depending on the speakers and the room in which it is played.

The piece has evolved quite dramatically over the past two weeks, both in content and structure. The simple ABA form that helped me compose my ideas expanded into a longer 10 minute piece that feels more through-composed, though there remains a return to a brief coda.

The splicing techniques remain the same, but the arrangement of the samples did change. I played around a lot with the breathiness of the attack after finding that with 0.00ms attack, the main sample becomes very 'pingy' and electronic, which is sort of a descent from the ethereal into the computer-manipulated. The main riff competes with other cyclic ostinatos in lower registers between the left and right stereo channels, which when combined with the alternating delay, adds quite a bit of nuanced density to the sound without bringing it past the edge of familiarity.

The climactic and chaotic section is produced by ramping up many of the delay parameters to 100% (wetness / feedback), which creates an echoing laughter throughout the high register that fades and distorts over time.

I have put the program notes below. Now that the piece has been performed, it is time to put it aside and work on something else. I've got a few ideas in the works (several sketch files), and it seems like the pieces will probably be unified by aesthetic and technique. More to come soon!

Verdant Dance is a new fixed-media composition developed as part of a larger project exploring artistic expression through audio sample manipulation. This selection features recordings of an indigineous wind instrument played by the Harari people of Ethiopia. Inspired by minimalism, hemiolas, and the music of Four Tet, Verdant Dance emerges from below to initiate a cyclic ceremony.