Opus Palladianum: voice and drums

2 channel recording

Winter, 2013

I am fascinated by our ability to distinguish and relate auditory organizations.  In music, this ability contributes to our sense of a work’s grammar, excitement, form, coherence, and (dis)continuity.  As a researcher, I explore these topics in the context of perceptual and cognitive experiments.  As a composer, I use this research to create musical works that are both expressive and experimental.  In regard to the latter, my works inspire listeners to think about the ways that musical entities can relate to each other.  Perhaps there is a rhythmic connection between entities while almost all other musical parameters are changed; perhaps the connections occur on higher-levels involving musical style or energy.  In the process of composition, I often create contrasts and relations along specific musical parameters.  Parametric categorizations allow us to talk about and create types and degrees of contrast, which we can use to make a variety of musical relations.  As we realize new kinds of musical relations, we will be equipped with new ways to organize and express our music.

Opus Palladianum: voice and drums explores relations and contrasts, from those that are clear, such as the juxtaposition of opposites (soft, loud), to those that are ambiguous, such as the juxtaposition of synthetic and intimate.  Contrast is created by presenting the voice and percussion elements in a variety of rhythmic, harmonic, stylistic and technological settings.  These organizations illuminate timbral identities, associations that are connected to production processes, and the relationship between an object and its development. Such juxtapositions and superimpositions invite listeners to consider how context, and not just timbre, influences the aesthetics of recorded, sampled, and synthesized sound.  The piece creates unity and connections among these disparate elements through lower-level musical parameters, such as rhythm, timbre and harmony, as well as through higher-level musical associations, such as means of production (acoustic, electronic) and genre.  As a result, there is connection despite heterogeneity; there is fluidity despite disruption; there is peace despite agitation; there is continuity despite discontinuity.