Tuesday, November 29, 2016

"They Tamed The Island Some". For Flute, Percussion & Piano. The Score

"They Tamed The Island Some"

For Flute, Percussion & Piano

The Score

Bil Smith Composer


A Commission from Kubota

Monday, November 28, 2016

AI Methods in Algorithmic Composition: A Comprehensive Survey

AI Methods in Algorithmic Composition: 

A Comprehensive Survey

Fernandez & Vico

Compositional Obstructionist Theories of Otto Werner (1927-2008)

Compositional Obstructionist Theories of Otto Werner (1927-2008), Professor of Music at Colorado State University.

Werner shared a profound theoretical manifesto only to his students (and never to external practitioners) based on Sebastiano Timpanaro and Jeremy Benthem's Panopticon writings. I studied with him for two years.
His outstanding gifts of textual criticism took the form of adversaria and punctual annotations that eventually yielded over a thousand pages of meticulous dissection of musical passages.
Werner cites a “plurally fraught metaphysical universe,” and a refusal of an authoritative “panoptic vision” of the world, spoiled both his own attempts at composition and the efforts of music critics looking for a tidy interpretive framework through which to engage and explain him. But as students of Werner, we echo his intent of a loose definition of young composers, the so-called “speculative realists.”
From Professor Werner... "the Panopticon is not merely, as Foucault thought, “a vicious, ingenious cage” (Werner misquoted this), in which subjects collaborate in their own subjection, but much more—constructing the Panopticon produces not only a prison, but also a god within it. The Panopticon is a machine which on assembly is already inhabited by a ghost."
Werner's Redactionist approach to composition and performance was revolutionary and an absolute inspiration to a small, intimate group of composers.

Here is my response to my teacher/mentor...a purely Wernerian work employing all of his compositional coordinates.
This work of mine, "Organization Interpenetrate" for Obstructionist Solo Organ (Duration 1:43:34"), has been reviewed as "vexatious, galling, maddening, impossible, antagonistic, mundane, irritating, plagued, pestiferous :: subversive, insurrectionist, profound, political, extremist, 'provocateurian', hilarious, brilliant and untouched."
"Organization Interpenetrate" for Obstructionist Solo Organ on Soundcloud.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

"Mask, Tube and Flippers"
 For Trumpet, Flute and Piano. Bil Smith

"Mask, Tube and Flippers"

For Trumpet, Flute and Piano

Bil Smith (2015-2016)

A Commission from Aldi

Saturday, November 19, 2016

"Dented Lodge" For Piano

"Dented Lodge"  

For Piano

Bil Smith

Commissioned from Fanuc

"Float Level Femur". For Flute, Oboe and Bass Clarinet.

Float Level Femur

For Flute, Oboe and Bass Clarinet

Bil Smith


A Commission from Fanuc

"A Pierre. Dell’azzurro silenzio, inquietum" Luigi Nono. The Score.

PDF Score

Dedicated to Pierre Boulez on the occasion of his 60th anniversary (on 26th March 1985), the composition A Pierre. Dell’azzurro silenzio, inquietum received its first performance on 31st March 1985 in Baden-Baden by Roberto Fabbriciani and Ciro Scarponi; the live electronics part was prepared by the Experimental Studio in Freiburg in Breisgau. 

The score was finished on 20th February 1985. The cooperation of Luigi Nono with flutists Roberto Fabbriciani and clarinettist Ciro Scarponi and their consulting in the field of instrumentation played a major role in Nono’s late output. 

The two musicians’ congenial concert performances, with the richness of harmonics of the contrabass flute and contrabass clarinet, determined the specific timbral aura of the work: it is difficult to distinguish which sounds are played by acoustic instruments and which are generated live in the electronics part. 

The composer was seeking precisely that perfect union between two types of sonority, because only then could he create that uninterrupted tissue, continuously fluctuating, characterized by an extremely subtle but insistent inner mobility. It is a sonority deployed in space and written for space, that actualizes on the threshold between sound and the “blue silence”. 

Mobility and spatiality are the two principal characteristics of the work. 

Luigi Nono did use the indication “a piú cori” on purpose in this work written for just two instruments, adopting the nomenclature of Venetian polychoral music of the Gabrielis – an indication that he used often, by the way: e.g. he called his seven instrumental groups “choirs” in 2° No hay caminos, hay que caminar… … Andrej Tarkowskij. Nono thus wrote in the short liner note to that composition:  

A few choirs ever changing  Formants of the voice – timbres –  interdynamised spaces  and some possibilities  of transformation through live electronics.  
It is the formula “a few choirs ever changing” that draws our attention. In both solo parts, whose dynamics oscillate between and ppppp with rare incursions of mezzo forte, a continuous variability of sound emission is required, from the standard technique up to a hiss, with different participation (or lack thereof) of determined pitches, sharp “Aeolian“ tones, whistles, clusters, harmonics, occasionally with the presence of an interrupted basic “shadow tone“. 
(liner notes by Paolo Petazzi, Luigi Nono e il suono  
elettronico. 10° Festival di Milano Musica,  
Teatro Studio, 9 October 2000) 

The electronic part, determining the spatial effect of the work, helps to perceive the at times incorporeally light timbre of the instruments, transforms it and reclaims it through the use of delay, making the taped sound become an element of the natural sound. 

The delay, in fact, makes the instrumental sound perceivable even after the soloist has become silent. The fusion between acoustic instruments and electronics that is the hallmark of this work is expressed in this continuity, too.  

I Refer to the Perception of All, Including the Composer.

In what follows, I refer to the perception of all, including the composer. I use the word perception to mean the thinking is unclear. Even while writing these ideas there is a lack of clarity. The work seems to be ruined. Logic may be lost entirely. 

Again, if it has worked well for me while other ways have not, then perhaps it is not the most important aspect of the problem. After that the post-conceptual composer is free even to surprise himself. Ideas are discovered by intuition (or, more likely, accident). 

What is the work of notation? This kind of notation is for all composers. I have tried to state them with as much clarity as possible. 

If the statements I make are unclear it may mean the apprehension of the entire composition is unclear. Using complex basic forms only disrupts the unity of the composer, who may or may not be involved in the production of very small works of music. This uncertainty is a kind of regular beat or pulse. 

When the interval between things that can be is no longer important, the work becomes available to all composers and performers. I have found that it becomes the end while the form at the plate is directed at hitting the ball where it is pitched (so to speak). I am involved in post-conceptual composition as the idea or concept. This is the reason for using this method. 

Post-conceptual composition is made to engage the mind of the sense data, the objective of the listener rather than his ear or emotions. The physicality of a three-dimensional object then becomes a contradiction to its non-emotive intent. 

Color, surface, texture, and shape only emphasize the physical aspects of the work. 

When a composer uses a multiple modular method he usually chooses a simple form, repeatedly narrowing the field of the idea or concept. That is the reason for using this method.