Monday, November 30, 2020

"Everlest" for Pocket Flugelhorn. A Circos Tablature System.

"Everlest" for Pocket Flugelhorn

Beginning in 2012, composers at Laboratorie New Music have been working on modifications of the Circos program to create a systematic, fluid tablature system to facilitate compositional structure.  

The notion to explore this powerful visualization tool came about from a separate study we were conducting on the implications of 'Big Data' on outcomes relating to visualization and experimental musical tablatures.

The potential of big data is immense.  Eliminate constraints on the size, type, source and complexity of relevant data, and composers can ask bolder questions. Technology limitations that once required sampling or relied on assumptions to simplify high-density data sets have fallen to the march of technology. 

"Primary Cardinal" for Piano, G Trumpet and Clarinet in A

The Complete Score

"Primary Cardinal" 

for Piano, G Trumpet and Clarinet in A

Bil Smith Composer


Commissioned by Rosneft Oil Co OJSC, Moscow

World Premiere Moscow, February 2016

Sunday, November 29, 2020

Compactionist Composers


A Word on "Compaction Music"

Last year, I led a roundtable lecture on Laboratorie New Music composer’s reductionist pieces titled the “Compaction Series” .

With the compaction musics, each piece is typically under 20 seconds and are appropriations of existing works coupled with the composers original work compressed to varying degrees associated with strict rules and guidelines. (Compaction Music 7.4)

Generally the pieces, while titled, also include the precise time in each title (“A Flutter Pressure Drop” 7.90445802″).

With Compaction Music there is an invitation to listen with an awareness of the construction, an alertness in the background of the experience. Compactionist Composers are an exclusive challenge-society, a think-tank that seeks to generate pseudo-constraints; these constraints spur the private musical ambitions of its members, and subvert the aesthetic traditions of composition.

Some works of this group are front-loaded, with the constraint or device announced in tandem with the debut of the score—this allows the act of reading to be textured with an editorial or fact-checker’s spectatorship. In some Compactions, the constraint is not made explicit, which allows the act of performing to be infused with a cryptographic undercurrent, a puzzler’s inquiry.

The roundtable session conducted last year at The Lila Acheson Library at Juilliard highlighted the appropriation techniques and the relevance to Oulipian aesthetics employed in these works.

"Delta Yearning" for Eva Kingma Contrabass Flute (The Score)

"Delta Yearning"

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Madrigal Avalta Lucivity. (A Compaction Music) Bil Smith Composer, 2020. The Recording


"Madrigal Avalta Lucivity"

The Recording on SoundCloud:

On Compaction Music...

In philosophy, reduction (compaction music) is the process by which one object, property, concept, theory, etc., is shown to be explicable in terms of another, lower level, entity.

In particular, a concern of philosophy is as to the scope of physical theory, and whether, for example, all events are ultimately physical events, a discussion closely related to the topic of causal closure.In music, such reduction is generally desirable, because it explains why and how the work which is being reduced exists, and because it promotes conceptual and theoretical economy.

Reducing musical properties to properties of sonic particles thus explains these properties and integrates them into a single explanatory framework, that of aural structure.

Thus we might also describe reduction as a process analogous to compaction, by which one theory (or concept, or property, and so on) is wholly subsumed under another.

Compactionism can be divided into three general areas – methodological, theoretical, and ontological – and reduction (the process) into two – theoretical and ontological.

Methodological reductionism is the attempt to reduce explanations to the smallest possible entities. In science, methodological reductionism would result in the atomic explanation of a substance’s boiling point, and perhaps in an explanation based on even smaller particles (quarks, perhaps).

Theoretical reductionism is reductionism applied to hypothetical theories, the goal of reducing the present multiplicity of theories to a single super-theory through the process of theoretical reduction, the theory of everything.

Finally, ontological reductionism is the belief that reality is composed of a minimum number of kinds of entities or substances. This claim is usually metaphysical, and is most commonly a form of monism, in effect claiming that all objects, properties and events are reducible to a single substance. 
(A dualist who is an ontological reductionist would presumably believe that everything is reducible to one of two substances.)

Exordium to Sicut Cervis for String Quartet by Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

"Lest the Muscle Grow Flaccid and Lose its Definition.” For Thein Wooden Tristan Trumpet and Cimbasso


Thein Wooden Tristan Trumpet