Sunday, September 30, 2018

"Spomata- Freemano" A Compaction Music. (Recording:13 seconds)


A Compaction Music

Bil Smith Composer

Listen on SoundCloud

Reductionists are those who take one theory or phenomenon to be reducible to some other theory or phenomenon. For example, a reductionist regarding mathematics might take any given mathematical theory to be reducible to logic or set theory. 

Or, a reductionist about biological entities like cells might take such entities to be reducible to collections of physico-chemical entities like atoms and molecules. 

The type of reductionism that is currently of most interest in metaphysics and philosophy of mind involves the claim that all sciences are reducible to physics. This is usually taken to entail that all phenomena (including mental phenomena like consciousness) are identical to physical phenomena.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

"Naked At Their Humid, Echoing Recreation". The Score for Cello and Kyma

"Naked At Their Humid, Echoing Recreation". 


The Score for Cello and Kyma

Bil Smith Composer


Commissioned by Fresenius

Published by LNM Editions

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

"Scripted Illusion" for Flute, Clarinet, Viola and Cello. An Oppositional Notation System.

Full Score Page

"Scripted Illusion" 

for Flute, Clarinet, Viola and Cello. 

An Oppositional Notation System.

Bil Smith Composer


Thanks to Dassault Systemes

"Twose" for Piccolo and a Word on 'Trauma Theory'

"Twose" for Piccolo

Compositional skepticism, whether of the anarchic or the methodical kind, has challenged the possibility of certain knowledge. 

Trauma theory introduces a psychoanalytic skepticism as well, which does not give up on sounds but suggests the existence of a traumatic kind, one that cannot be made entirely conscious, in the sense of being fully retrieved or communicated without distortion.

We have only a beginning, something like a hyper-community of musical explorers. The theory derives mainly from psychoanalytic sources, though it is strongly affected by compositional practice. 

It recasts, in effect, an older question: what kind of music is art, or what kind of music does it foster?

The theory holds that the music of trauma, or the music which comes from that source, is composed of two contradictory elements. One is the traumatic event, registered rather than experienced. It seems to have bypassed perception and consciousness, and falls directly into the psyche. 

The other is a kind of memory of the event, in the form of a perpetual troping of it by the bypassed or severely split (dissociated) psyche.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

"Placid Hosts" for Bass Clarinet. Bil Smith Composer. 2015

"Placid Hosts" for Bass Clarinet/Actor/Interrogator.  Bil Smith Composer.  2015

Commissioned by WPP Group, Eli Lilly and Verizon.
Performer TBD by Lottery, August 9, 2015.  (7 Nominees)

This work focuses on unmasking how notational nomenclature is marshaled into the service of power, from political rhetoric and demagogy to psychological persuasion.   

The Bass Clarinetist is responsible for a multiplicity of roles in this performance.

"Placid Hosts" is accompanied by a four-channel video installation based on an interview transcript from a 2014 murder investigation in the United States in which a woman was suspected of killing her husband with a Christian Louboutin stiletto heel DegraSpike Patent Red Sole Pump.

Similar to the way an interrogation room generates a power dynamic and tension from the moment a person steps inside, the layout of the installation is designed to maximize viewers’ discomfort.
Upon entering the piece, listeners hear a harsh and incessant pulsating sound composition, which is synchronized with the interview dialogue projected on two screens in blinding optic white text on vermillion backgrounds. 

One screen features the police officers’ vexatious questions, the other the answers of the suspect. The authorities use interrogation tactics such as psychological manipulation, confrontation, and even empathy in order to gain trust and obtain a confession, hence the Bass Clarinetist is incarcerated, reformed or a fugitive.
Throughout, the accused person’s responses read as overwhelmed, as if they are unable or perhaps unwilling to remember or articulate their thoughts. Delays in replying translate into bursts of cadmium yellow, channel black, or optic white flashes on the screens, accompanied by the no less irritating buzzing of the processed live performance of the bass clarinetist. 
The persuasiveness of this work relies on the listener's exposure to constant noise and flashes of light—which are not coincidentally methods also used for “enhanced interrogation”—leaving one with a strong sense of stress, suggestibility, and vulnerability. 
This is a visceral experience of the exercise of compositional language as a coercive power, as if one’s self were the very same subject of inquisition.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Saturday, September 8, 2018

"Vortices and Randomized Topological Solitons in Dense Quark Matter" for Solo 'C' Trumpet (with Temporal Adhesions). Bil Smith Composer

"Vortices and Randomized Topological Solitons in Dense Quark Matter" for Solo 'C' Trumpet (with Temporal Adhesions). Bil Smith Composer, 2011-2014.

World Premiere: Norwood Club, New York, NY.  August 27, 2014.

Commissioned and Sponsored by Altria Group, Inc. and Dickstein Shapiro, LLC.

"Flaunted Mirror: A Rematch" for Piccolo Saxophone (Soprillo)

"Flaunted Mirror: A Rematch" 

for Piccolo Saxophone (Soprillo)

Bil Smith Composer


A Commission from Natixis

Published by LNM Editions

Monday, September 3, 2018

"The Opportunity To Define an Ideated System of Change"

"Prototypical Andromania".  For Clavichord.  Bil Smith Composer

During a lecture I have given over the past two years, I challenged the notion of creating the unplayable work.

This is not new.
John Cage from The Freeman Etudes

Consider Cage's Freeman Etudes. Cage, himself thought the work to be unplayable.  I participated in Irvine Arditti's morning lecture and demonstration at Darmstadt in 2012 at the Orangerie and his performance of the etudes that evening in concert.

"Immunodeficiency and Political Appetency"  Bil Smith Composer
As a young pianist based in Paris, Pierre-Laurent Aimard had a reputation for being able to play any piece put in front of him. Gyorgi Ligeti took it as a challenge and he set about writing his etudes some of the most difficult music ever composed for the piano. Aimard, who once said, “We are living in a world that is too easygoing," did eventually master the works. 

Jeremy Denk, who recorded some of the individual works in his most recent CD, stated, “[Ligeti’s] written music at the edge of the human possibility for performing it. That is, so fast and complex as to be almost impossible to keep track of."

Iannis Xenakis' solo piano work Evryali includes a note outside the range of the piano, and some clusters where it is physically impossible for the pianist to reach all the notes at once.

"Stereodidymous" for Contrabassoon.  BilSmith Composer

When we consider the unplayable we may take it a step further; what if the instrument as we know it today, is purportedly not physically capable of execution?

But tomorrow?

Herein lies the opportunity to define an ideated system of change.
"Jogappa Edwin, The Psychopomp Who Steered Our Provincial Daydreaming Mother"
Excerpt from "Snatched"  Bil Smith