Friday, December 31, 2021

Radically Disruptive Compositional Tools: Graphetics, Case Syncretisms and Prototype Theory

"Delinquent Spirit of A Drowned City" for Piano
World Premiere, Paris France.  Palais de Tokyo.  Nicolas Horvath Piano.

There will be a new series of upcoming posts discussing alternative and experimental compositional methodologies, disruptive tablature design, WET scores, numerics and interdisciplinary construction tools for the documentation of musical events.

"EV 30"  Experimental Ideation in Visio-Graphetic Tablatures (Felicity Conditions/Finite State Markov Process Control and Case Syncretism)

Here we look at Part 1 of "Graphetics and Symbology" and their role in providing instruction for the vocal and the instrumental practitioner.

Experimental Ideation in Graphetics Tablatures ('Echo-Word Determiners)

Grapheticists are practitioners of Graphetics which is a branch of linguistics concerned with the analysis of the physical properties of shapes used in writing. It is an etic study, meaning that it has an outsider's perspective and is not concerned with any particular writing system. It is contrasted with the related emic field of graphemics, the study of the relation between different shapes in particular writing systems.  Graphetics is analogous to phonetics; graphetics is to the study of writing as phonetics is to the study of spoken language.

Experimental Ideation in Graphetics Tablatures ('Concatenation, Prototype Theory)

As such, it can be divided into two areas, visual graphetics and mechanical graphetics, which are analogous to auditory and articulatory phonetics, respectively. Both printed and handwritten language can be the subject of graphetic study.

Neologisms with Lexical Rule:  Excerpt from the score "Explorer, Producer, Stoic After Your Passion" for String Quartet.  Bil Smith Composer. 

Score Page Section from "Acta Combinatorial" for Solo Cello: Utilization of Neologism as Performance Cues.

RECORDING:  "Thrones De Los Cantares" (A Micro-Opera) 

As such, it can be divided into two areas, visual graphetics and mechanical graphetics, which are analogous to auditory and articulatory phonetics, respectively. Both printed and handwritten language can be the subject of graphetic study."

For 27 Voices (inclusive of Coloratura Soprano, Lyric Soprano, Heldentenor, Contralto, Baryton-Noble, Basso Buffo, Dugazon Soprano), Grapheticist*, and Chamber Ensemble. (Synthesis by Transient Drawing and Particle Cloning).

"Past the Tan Silence" for Double Bell Bass Trombone. Bil Smith Composer, 2021


Wednesday, December 29, 2021

"Detlin's Baby"...for Bass Flute and Celeste. Bil Smith Composer

"Detlin's Baby"...for Bass Flute and Celeste. Bil Smith Composer An Ideographic, hand drawn score utilizing deconstructionist fundamentals.

"If we interpret erasure as graffiti, the erasure is an 'enigmatic surplus' to the original drawing. Although it could also be seen as an attempt to re-clean the background, to move it towards the blank sheet which is more 'suitable for performance interpretation'. However, the thought it prepares the way for is inevitably polluted by the traces of the background that is never successfully cleaned. 

The erasure moves the background into a state which is more suitable to a musical realization, but only an interpretation in relation to itself. This can be seen as an extension of my earlier argument that the erasure invites a departure that is founded on the original compositional drawing."

Paul Crowther writes:

" Deconstruct history or texts in the style of Derrida or Foucault is to make evident that play of difference - that ungraspable network of relations, which sustains but is concealed by claims to self-presence. It is, in other words, to offer an insight into, or partial presentation of, a totality which as a totality is unpresentable. This, as Derrida remarks, "gives great pleasure" (Crowther in Papadakis (ed.), 1989, p.99)

Friday, December 17, 2021

"MetaMaterials" - Furthering Explorations for a Manifesto of a New Musical Lexicon

Furthering Explorations for a Manifesto of a New Musical Lexicon

Metamaterials are an amalgamation of artificial structural elements, designed to achieve advantageous and unusual electromagnetic properties.

Actually such a flexible definition is incomplete on the one hand, and too strict, on the other. It is helpful to draw the following analogy: Metamaterial is composed of its elements in the same sense as matter consists of atoms. But these structural elements themselves are made of conventional materials, i.e., finally, of normal atoms.

Accordingly, metamaterial represents the next level of structural organization of matter.

So the question do we apply this in a musical/compositional/auditory context?

Archetype IV of the score "Red Lounge: Zero Theorem Tracheal Splint" for Mixed Choir. Extended application of Metamaterials.

 For Tuba

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

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.


Thursday, November 25, 2021

"Faulty Tires" for Two Sopranos


RECORDING: "The Bare Lathes Intertwined with Creeper and Wire-Moss" Bil Smith Composer

"The Bare Lathes Intertwined with Creeper and Wire-Moss" 

2013 Commission from Pemex (PetrĂ³leos Mexicanos) for Chamber Orchestra, a work predicated on 'Compositional Bounding Theory', a theory about the locality of movement. 


"The Bare Lathes Intertwined with Creeper and Wire-Moss" Bil Smith Composer

The main principle of Bounding Theory is the Subjacency condition, which forbids movement across more than one bounding node (i.e. tablature).

For Chamber Orchestra; Coloratura Soprano (Obstruent Phonology); Soubrette (Siblancy: Fricative speech sounds with high frequency); Spinto Soprano (Strict Cyclicity); IGT Wild Cherry Spinning Wheel Slot; IGT 2x3x4x5x Red Hot 7s™ Spinning Reel Slot; IGT Hot Roll® Ca$h Ca$h Ca$h™ Video Slots; IGT Megabucks® Crystal Sevens® Slot; WMS Dashing Dolphins Slot; Wicks Century 5 Pipe Organ; Paiste 24' Venus Gong; Waldorf Blofeld Synthesizer;  Hellfire Modulator, an analog, tube-based distortion rack-module; Formanta Polivoks Synthesizer; ESP jeune fille X Gips -Cross Ray- Moi dix Mois MANA Signature Model Electric Guitar.

Instrumental reasoning can be explained — either in terms of it being constitutive of the very notion of having an end, or solely in terms of instrumental considerations. 

Improvisation, perspectivisation and elementary birthing…

While projective values need not be intrinsically reveration(truest), need not actually votivate us, they would determine what we ought to pursue(o) and protect (o). 

They would provide reasons for actions. Kobjective values would come in Szen_degrees, and more objective value would provide st(ST)ronger reasons. 

It follows that, if objective value exists, we ought to maximize it in the world. 

But virtually no one acts with that goal in mind. 

Furthermore, objective value would exist independently of our subjective valuing. 

But we have no way of measuring amounts of such values independently of the ways we value objects. 

While a subjectivist can account for mistaken values, a fully impersonal viewpoint, from which objective values would appear, seems instead to cause all values to disappear. 

Nor does the moral point of view, which requires more impartiality than agents usually exhibit, reveal fully objective values.

"The trajectory of music should be avoided in the philosophy of science, with special reference to the way that van Fraassen sets up the difference between compositional realism and constructive empiricism. What counts as success in music as such is emblematic/unsatisfactory."

----Efrem Zimbalist, Jr. 

When garbage falls away… then

"A Marshaling (Marshalling) of Legendary Doves and Herbs" For Viola and Bass

"A Marshaling (Marshalling) of Legendary Doves and Herbs"

For Viola and Bass

Bil Smith Composer

Published by LNM Editions, 2017

(Laboratorie New Music)

Friday, October 29, 2021

"Vestige of Celenity"

"Vestige of Celenity"

For Kingma System Alto Flute

Bil Smith Composer


Published by LNM Editions

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Recording: "Even Ostra-Tendrils for Hire" Bil Smith Composer

Bandung Conference Participants

A musical critique of the major theoretical statements on “colonial discourse” and “post-colonialism.

In the 1950's, nationalism emerged as the primary expression of defiance to Western imperialism in a multitude of regions from the Indian subcontinent to Africa, to parts of Latin America and the Pacific Rim. 

With the Bandung Conference (1955) and the formation of the Non-Aligned Movement in 1961, many of Europe's former colonies banded together to form a common bloc, aligned with neither the advanced capitalist “First World” nor with the socialist “Second World.” 

An exercise in political authoritarianism and economic failure, this music is a 'stare back', often literally, in the form of smirking faces making good on the titular promise of a failed lurking presence.

In this historical context, the category of “Third World music and literature” emerged, a category that has itself spawned a whole industry of scholarly and critical studies, particularly in the metropolitan West, but increasingly in the homelands of the Third World itself.

Saturday, September 25, 2021

As many have witnessed, often, a new music composer's career is rarely made on one composition

As many have witnessed, often, a new music composer's career is rarely made on one composition, rather it’s the long and slow accrual of published scores, performances, recordings, activities, community service, and so forth that firmly establish one’s reputation.
And yet, we now live in a moment of the bounce, where Google Alerts are triggered at the mere mention of a composer's name or work, or tweets can ricochet information about a performance to thousands of followers in an instant.
It’s certainly gratifying for composers — often working alone — to know minute-to-minute that someone out there is engaging with the work.
And it can be addictive.
In the new information landscape, it’s the re- gestures (the retweet, the reblog) that seem to carry the most weight. For example, the popular blog Boing Boing doesn’t create anything: they simply point at cool things. And the gesture of Boing Boing pointing at something always trumps the thing at which they are pointing, making us aware that the new power-base is in the filtering, distribution and management of information, not in the original creation of it.
For example, If I tweet something that I know takes a long time to digest — say, a lengthy experimental abstract composition score — a minute later, I find that it’s been retweeted by dozens of people. Now while many may be familiar with that work, most aren’t. 
And most haven’t even engaged with it. But rather, it’s the name-check and the cool-factor of the information combined with the passion for sharing it, which creates a bounce. 
The citation, the act of moving that information, has more cache than the object to which its referring.
All of this is to point out the new quandary that composers — whose notions of composing and performance were forged in the age of the slow roll — face in the age of the bounce. 

To construct a career as a composer based on the ephemerality of the meme is at once thrilling and terrifying. 

Embracing it is like jumping off a cliff and freefalling, throwing away the script that we’ve come to know so well. Yet it seems inevitable; it’s clearly the next move; it will happen. The question is how it will happen and how much human intervention will be necessary to successfully sustain it as a viable compositional practice. 

I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a composer who doesn’t have their eye on the bigger picture; I can’t name a composer — even the most radical and “uncreative” — who would choose the model of a bouncy meme over the slow roll of music history. 

But that too will soon be changing.

Monday, September 20, 2021

"Neural Intervals And Barium Infused Automatons". The Recording.

"Neural Intervals And Barium Infused Automatons"

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 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.

Faktura ("Fair Play"). The Recording & The Faktura Haute Couture Costumes

For Recast Orchestra of Integrant Voices, Two Near Motionless Models, and Haute Couture Costumes. First performed at St. Mark's Church, New York, NY. (2014)
It is at this level that the notions of honesty and impartiality meet. An action, a method or a type of reasoning is fair if it rejects arbitrary preferences, undue favor, or partiality and it does not aim to win out by dishonest means or force.

"Fair Play" refers to a respect for the rules of the game. 
Faktura Haute Couture Costume 7W.0

Faktura Haute Couture Costume F8

Faktura Haute Couture Costume F03

Faktura Haute Couture Costume EDDY