Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Excerpts from a String Quartet Tablature

String Quartet tablature.
In this piece, a legion of ontological possibilities that reside in this tablature system emerge in a series of slippages, but they are nevertheless constellated around a clear ethical question: "How can music, along with other human behaviors, from which it can not be separated, be the change it wants to be?"
'Le regole della musica non costituiscono una metafisica'

Thursday, December 10, 2015

About Commissions for Composers.

I find it entertaining when people suggest that when I, or another member of Laboratorie New Music cite a commission for our compositions on this website, for a score, a performance or in one of our published works, that some individuals find this impossible and untrue.

I decided to help on this matter by explaining a few key points.

First, if I ever cited a commission from a sponsor company that was untrue, the type of companies who are our generous sponsors, would have an army of trademark and intellectual property attorneys all over us.

The fact is that these corporate attorneys have web crawlers that identify when, and if, the corporate name and logo are used at anytime and anyplace.  If you use their name or logo/symbology in an unauthorized manner, you get this joyful "cease and desist" letter.

We don't have any of these letters in our archives.

So let's move past this...

"How on earth do we get these large, rich companies to sponsor our compositions?"

Let's think in a business-like manner...or even better, let's just use common sense.

When I teach, I find it fascinating that students/composers feel that they are entitled to receiving monies for their creative efforts. Yet, they dismiss the one key life lesson...if you want something (i.e. an advance commission for your work), you need to give the sponsor something back in return.

In Advance.

Now I am not speaking of the final work, I am speaking of what can you give them in advance to let them know you are sincere. If it is Ford or Petrobras or HSBC, you have to ask yourself...what's in it for them?

If you still do not buy into this, go ahead and research me.  I have another job.  Just like Brian Ferneyhough has his Stanford gig, Pierluigi can turn down Columbia to stay put, and most teach in esteemed universities to pay the bills.

For me, and a few others, I choose to take a bit of a different path, but I feel lucky because what I do is imminently more interesting than Ives (Insurance).

My job is that I make up name for products...yes just the names.  You use them everyday...Xbox, Outlook, Excel, Aeron, Escalade.

OK...enough.  But through this experience dealing with the largest companies in the world, I learned a bit about how to win them over.

Over the next few weeks I will share some tips on how this is done.  If you are interested, tune in.  It will not be the 'Golden Key',  but a few tips will be forthcoming and it is up to you to make them work.


Monday, December 7, 2015


Exocyclic Trumpet in B flat: Recording of "Neural Intervals And Barium Infused Automatons" (2014)

Exocyclic Trumpet in B flat
"Neural Intervals And Barium Infused Automatons" (2014)

On SoundCloud: 

Inverted Equilibrium Sonic Pendulum
PID Theory

Composition for Cello, Chamber Ensemble, Inverted Equilibrium Sonic Pendulum, Exocyclic Trumpet in B flat, Schilke b3l Tunable Beryllium Bell Trumpet, Elliot Easton SG Custom OHSC Electric Guitar, Zildjian 22″ C2 Gong / Cymbal, LP Galaxy Giovanni Tumbadora, Retrosium Flute and ROLI Seaboard Grand.

From the performance notes/depiction of the Inverted Equilibrium Sonic Pendulum and the Cello:

We have executed a control method for maintaining an inverted pendulum in the unstable equilibrium position. This application is a classic lesson in control science, frequently utilized in ballistic guidance. In the case of the Cello, the proportional-integral-derivative (PID) method was implemented in LabWindows and intendulum with test mass. Once optimal parameters for the algorithm were established, trials were conducted in which individual gain constants were varied while controlling string and bow pressure to observe changes in instrument behavior.

When applying bow pressure, vector fields can have several special points: a stable point, called a sink, that attracts in all directions (forcing the concentrations to be at a certain value), an unstable point, either a source or a saddle point which repels (forcing the concentrations to change away from a certain value), and a limit cycle, a closed trajectory towards which several trajectories spiral towards (making the concentrations oscillate).

Repostulate in a alternative tablature system; topological models of morphogenesis.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

"Disciplinary Mechanisms" . Louise Wei, Composer.

"Disciplinary Mechanisms" 

Louise Wei Composer


For Soprano, Two Baritones, Bass and Piano

A Commission from Hua Xia Bank, Beijing China

"Dedicated Schlesinger" for Flute. Bil Smith Composer

Dedicated Schlesinger for Flute. Bil Smith Composer

"The contrast lies in the notation and performance and is discrete across all three ranges.  There is no telling how much of the performance outcome is due to real kinship with the score or how much is due to musical ingenuity and luck coincidence."

- Collated inferences
- Notational ontology recapitulates philology

Monday, November 16, 2015


Excerpt from the Bass Score of "Partitions: Cambics Alive in Sensient Amplules”

Sound Storms: The 3D Sculptural Scores of Nathalie Miebach

Nathalie Miebach's work focuses on the intersection of art and science and the visual articulation of scientific observations. Her woven sculptures interpret scientific data related to astronomy, ecology and meteorology in three-dimensional space. Her pieces simultaneously function as works of art, aural embodiments of data (musical compositions) and instruments that illustrate environmental change.

By utilizing artistic processes and everyday materials, Miebach questions and expands the boundaries of traditional science data visualization -- and provokes expectations of what visual vocabulary is considered to be in the domain of science and art

Nathalie's Statement:
My work focuses on the intersection of art and science and the visual articulation of scientific observations. Using the methodologies and processes of both disciplines, I translate scientific data related to astronomy, ecology and meteorology woven sculptures. My method of translation is principally that of weaving – in particular basket weaving – as it provides me with a simple yet highly effective grid through which to interpret data in three-dimensional space. By staying true to the numbers, these woven pieces tread an uneasy divide between functioning both as sculptures in space as well as instruments that could be used in the actual environment from which the data originates.

Central to this work is my desire to explore the role visual aesthetics play in the translation and understanding of science information. By utilizing artistic processes and everyday materials, I am questioning and expanding boundaries through which science data has been traditionally visually translated (ex: graphs, diagrams), while at the same time provoking expectations of what kind of visual vocabulary is considered to be in the domain of ‘science’ or ‘art’.

For my most recent project called “Recording and Translating Climate Change”, I gather weather observations from specific ecosystems using very simple data-collecting devices. The numbers are then compared to historical / global meteorological trends, before being translated into sculpture. By examining the complex behavioral interactions of living/non-living systems between weather and an environment, I hope to gain a better understanding of complexity of systems and behaviors that make up weather and climate change. Lately, I have also started to translate the data into musical scores, which are then interpreted through sculptures as well as through collaborations with musicians. My aim is twofold: to convey a nuance or level of emotionality surrounding my research that thus far has been absent from my visual work and to reveal patterns in the data musicians might identify which I have failed to see. 

‘When a musician writes a score that must be mechanically carried through, compelling the interpreter to follow it as if he was a machine… what is the sense to make it for a human being if it can be made for a machine? A music score that imposes such a severity has no sense. Ideas must be free and the musicians who will play must be creative.’ Self-invented notation gives musical scores the possibility of an open-ended future – a future with its roots in history, but one that also invites the entire world to join in an artistic conversation about our shared humanity."

- John Cage