Saturday, March 27, 2021

"Flant". Trumpet Fanfare Three

"Flant" 

Trumpet Fanfare Three

Bil Smith Composer

Commissioned For The Opening of 56 Leonard St.

A Herzog & de Meuron Project




"Sparc". A Trumpet Fanfare.


"Sparc".  

A Trumpet Fanfare.

Bil Smith Composer

Commissioned For The Opening of 56 Leonard St.

A Herzog & de Meuron Project



Friday, March 19, 2021

"Compositional Surrogates: Translating a Theoretical Treatise"



SCORE:  “A Series of Storms”  Bil Smith Composer (2012-2013)

For Contrabass Saxophone (conversely Contrabass Clarinet); Tambourine: Retresium Trumpet in ‘A’; Inderbinen Wood Flugelhorn,: Eva Kingma Contrbass Flute;  Celestonite Modified ‘A’ Clarinet with Slide ‘Pirix’ designed by Richard Fulbright; Angh, and Maser 2 Snare Drum.

In the words of Elliot Fereder, speech surrogates are the “conversion of human speech into equivalent sounds for transmission in vestigial systems”. He goes on to define percussive and whistle languages as well as surrogates played on other  musical instruments.
Ventisma Tablature: Musica Formatica
In this work ("Series of Storms"), translating this theoretical treatise under this very broad definition; systems like Morse code, Ventisma, Fortola Codex, flag semaphore, secret speech, and other types of signals that share little in common could also be included. 

Tristan Murail has used the term “talking musical instruments,” which provides a clearer set of fundamental boundaries. 


Tristan Murail

The term “drum and whistle languages” has been used by several authors when describing systems that are neither drummed nor whistled but rather played on musical instruments. In this work, the customized Maser 2 Snare Drum, Tambourine and Angh are aligned with this evidentiary platform.

Drum and whistle languages and talking musical instruments share an important feature: the conversion of speech into a musical medium. 

The signal is based on pitch, rhythm, timbre, and other characteristics shared by speech and music, but it is performed by musical means—drums, whistling, flutes, etc.


Perhaps the best term to describe these related phenomena is “musical speech surrogates,” which has been used by Jeremy Blaise and Todd Reese among others.


Fotola Codex: Musicum Attache (Vesche)

Even this term highlights a significant cultural bias. For many of the cultures studied under this lens, speech and music are not so easily partitioned.

In this work, “A Series of Storms”,  I attempt to articulate the theatrical ambivalence towards these theorems, yet with great respect, illustrate a ritualistic musical tablature which has been buried.

"Hardpacked Out Of Tan Dust." For Electric Guitar. Bil Smith Composer










"It Behaves Like an Element in a Geometrical Equation" . The Recording




"It Behaves Like an Element in a Geometrical Equation" (2010-2012) - Bil Smith Composer
For Two Pianos, One Prepared Piano (Plot "A"), One Prepared Piano (Plot "C"), Bass Celeste, Modified Glockenspiel, and Annealed Steel Bells.
"Bil Smith has gone an indebted path, transposing his adamantium vernacular into a melancholic production...hovering between sound and silence, stability and instability. His compositions are apt sonic metaphors of total anonymity albeit with a paradoxical threat of imminent overload"
- Bill Meyer, Noted Music Critic of Gramophone, The Wire and The Guardian
The Recording on Soundcloud:

LNM Editions. Laboratorie New Music Editions, Publisher. The Iconic Covers.