Sonic Circuits 5


Innova 114


1.  Lawrence Fritts                  Minute Variations  5:00


2.  Robert Normandeau                       Le renard et la rose                                                                              (SOCAN)  15:00


3.  Eirik Lie                             112 Par Sko  (TONO)  6:31


4.  Colby Leider                                  Veni Creator Spiritus  4:00


5.  Mike Olson                                    Office Furniture from Outer                                                               Space  (BMI)  6:26


6.  Orchid Spangiafora            Radios Silent  5:18


7.  Michael Schell                    Jerry Hunt: Song Drape 2                                                                               (BMI)  6:00


8.  Beatriz Ferreyra                 Soufle d’un petit Dieu                                                                                    distrait  13:23


9.  Katharine Norman             Hard Cash (and small dreams                                                             of change)  (ASCAP)  10:40



Minute Variations by Lawrence Fritts


Minute Variations is based on a one-minute spoken text by Australian sound-poet Chris Mann [[email protected]].  After its opening statement in its original form, material from this theme undergoes four one-minute variations.  The first three variations spin out of the remarkable energy of the theme.  Here, both overt and minute variations of pitch and timbre are accompanied by ever more dramatic transformations that turn the voice into a quasi-percussion ensemble.  During the third variation, these percussion sounds are gradually transformed back into speech sounds that percussively accompany a voice that is beginning to learn how to sing.  The fourth variation consists only of the singing voice, as soloist, then choir.  The work was realized in the University of Iowa Electronic Music Studios on a Kyma Digital Signal Processing System, and written in response to an open invitation from Frog Peak Music (A Composers’ Collective) [].  The work also appears on the Frog Peak Collaborations Project CD.


Lawrence Fritts is Director of Electronic Music Studios and Assistant Professor of Composition at The University of Iowa.  He received his Ph.D. in Composition from the University of Chicago, where he studied with Shulamit Ran, Ralph Shapey, and John Eaton.  His electronic works have been performed and broadcast in the US and Europe.  His writings on music and mathematics appear in Music Theory Spectrum and Abstracts of the American Mathematical Society. [[email protected]]


The text:

(The reason that something is an example, a fold (how many does it take to define a problem? (, a predicate)), an economy of virtual knowns, interrupts the idea of proof (those names of actions and events) that does a shy redundancy, a wave. Looks like a subject, but. I mean, is is-an-emergent-property-of-any-system-the-increasing-probability-of-asking-a-right-question a question (a parasite that adapts) or no, a science of quantity, a legal? And the additions? A function. Of represents. Information after all is that failure of description, an immune system a la consciousnessed, a parody (a typical number (probability is a product of real numbers), a base maybe parity in bags) that dags as some inductive random, a negative it, sit. Like a tautology is a square of the propensity to explain any point-function as (random is just like absence) a factor (D) of phantom flickers, a sort of they-type time (it disappoints (dusts) description) of non-linear possibilities, an avvy quit. Shit. The pragmatics of ignorance - something (decorative) you do on my time (my reduction is smaller than your reduction coz I is a large number) - an abstract that, an example of itself, a me-too no-risk of refers picks up a difference on a stick (difference, the first good) and licks (self-evident (a judgement is a perfect rule)): dear sames, a limbo (game) replica in drag, as names (deduction is the administration of violence (credit is the history (interest) of words without history)): claims it (the altruist) I's about. Conspires. In (surrogate) two's. No doubt it queues.)


Le renard et la rose [The Fox and the Rose]  by Robert Normandeau


Le renard et la rose  [The Fox and the Rose] is a concert suite composed from two sound sources: the music commissioned by Radio-Canada for the radio play adapted from The Little Prince by Antoine de St-Exupéry (produced by Odile Magnan in 1994), from which one can retrieve the main themes, and the voices of the actors who participated in the radio play.  This piece was composed in the personal studio of the composer in 1995-96 with the financial assistance of the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.  It was commissioned by the Banff Center for the Arts with the financial assistance of the Canada Council for the 1995 International Computer Music Conference.  The piece was awarded the Golden Nica (First Prize) at the Prix Ars Electronica 1996 (Linz, Austria).


Robert Normandeau was born in Québec City, Canada in 1955.  His specialization, since 1984, is in acousmatic composition.  His work adopts the perspective of a “cinema for the ear” where the meaning as well as the sound contributes to the composition.  He received his Master of Music (1988) and Doctor of Music (1992) in Composition from Université de Montréal.  He is a founding member of both the Canadian Electroacoustic Community, and of Réseaux, a concert society (1991).  He is a prize-winner of the Bourges, Phenourgia Nova, Luigi-Russolo, Musica Nova, Noroit-Léonce Petitot, Stockholm, and Ars Electronica (Golden Nica, 1996) international competitions.  Since 1988, he has been a lecturer on the music faculty of the Université de Montréal.  His works are included on many compact discs, among them are two solo discs: Lieux inouis and Tangram, both published by empreintes DIGITALes.  [[email protected]]


112 Par Sko [112 Pairs of Shoes] by Eirik Lie


This piece was written to commemorate the centenary of one of the worst natural disasters in Norway’s history: the landslide in Verdal in 1893, that claimed the lives of 112 people.  The piece is quite programmatic, with simulations of the deep rumble just before the slide, the terror screams of the victims (some of which actually sailed along several kilometers on the slide on the remains of their houses before they drowned in the mud), and finally a requiem.  The music was part of an installation consisting of lights, smoke, and a large-scale model of the landslide site, complete with mud, moving houses, and sculptures of people crying for help.  The installation was visited by approximately 30,000 people over a four-month period.  The piece which was recorded solo in one take without overdubs is played by Eirik Lie on a Fender Stratocaster electric guitar.


Eirik Lie, of Oslo, Norway is a musician/composer who has spent the greater part of his career working with music for visual contexts.  He has written music for numerous fringe theater groups, installations, exhibitions, and short films.  He has also played with numerous rock, blues, and jazz bands.  Although his primary instrument is the guitar, the MIDI revolution of the mid -1980’s influenced him to begin playing keyboards and to use electronics.  [[email protected]]


Veni Creator Spiritus by Colby N. Leider


Veni Creator Spiritus [Come Holy Ghost] is based on the opening phrase of MS. Wolfenbuttel 1099 36v.  The work is a process piece comprised of several vertical layers and  uses sonic granules of varying duration.  The same short sample, taken from the Hilliard Ensemble's recording "Perotin" (ECM 1385 78118-21385-2) by kind permission of Paul Hillier, is used in all layers, but very different timbres are produced because the material is treated differently in each layer.  A flanging effect is achieved by allowing the compositional process to proceed at different rates in the spatial domain.


Colby N. Leider is a composer currently pursuing a master’s degree in electro-acoustic music at Dartmouth College where he studies with Jon Appleton, Charles Dodge, and Larry Polansky.  He also studied organ with Frank Speller and composition with Donald Grantham while working towards a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1992.  He has been involved in the design and creation of new performance interfaces for live electro-acoustic music, and his music incorporates materials from medieval music into tape and live electronic idioms.  [[email protected]]


Office Furniture From Outer Space by Mike Olson


Office Furniture From Outer Space was originally written as an all-electronic, computer-aided, performance piece for three live players and computer for the 1992 Electronic Art And Design Awards show in Minneapolis.  This tape however, is a studio version of the piece and makes use of a little electric guitar in places.  It starts out with a completely unplanned free improvisation with Richard Paske on Bass, Homer Lambrecht on Electronic wind instrument and Mike Olson on Minimoog (synthesizer).  This eventually gives way (when the drums enter) to scored-out material with an improvisational Minimoog solo.  The electric guitar is played by Jason Goodyear.


Mike Olson is self-employed as an independent composer/producer of music and custom audio for interactive multimedia.  He received his formal musical training at the University of Minnesota and currently works out of his home studio in South Minneapolis. [[email protected]]


Radios Silent by Orchid Spangiafora


The title "Radios Silent" comes from a sign on buses in Philadelphia.  I like the way it sounds.  For me the sibilance between the two words makes it nearly unpronounceable.  It has a similar  effect on my ear to "Clean Fleer," which I believe was the name of a Rock band in the late 1970's.  "Radios Silent" was made using really cheap hardware.  Most of the loops were dubbed onto cassette and played back onto a very low end Akai home reel to reel machine.  The noisy section in the middle of the piece was recorded using a "Yamaha VSS 30 Digital Voice Sampler," which was basically a toy keyboard sold through places like Toys-R-Us

in the mid 1980's.  Much of the radio material was miked off a vest pocket transistor radio. 


Orchid Spangiafora attended Hampshire College in the early 1970's where most of the material that would wind up on the Twin/Tone records release "Flea Past's Ape Elf" was recorded.  [[email protected]]


Jerry Hunt: Song Drape 2, Realized by Michael Schell


Jerry Hunt’s Song Drapes are pre-composed accompaniments to unspecified texts, which can be delivered vocally or in any manner desired by the performer. Schell’s realization of Drape 2 features some tape-recorded phone conversations of Texas’ most famous political figure, who is heard speaking to his wife, a patronized beautician and an intimidated US Senator. Song Drape 2 also appears on the Musicworks 65 CD (Summer 1996).


Jerry Hunt was born in Waco, Texas in 1943, and lived in Texas until his suicide in 1993.  A pianist by trade, Hunt studied numerous cultivated and popular styles.  His interest in composition evolved from his study of the keyboard, and he began working extensively with electronic keyboards and instruments.  Frustrated with the limitations of electronic keyboards and other conventional controllers in the 1970’s, he built sensor arrays using video cameras, infrared detectors and ultrasound generators.  His compositions reflect his extensive knowledge of mystical systems, particularly those of alchemy, Goëtic theurgy, Tarot, voodoo and Kabbala.  The dominant theme in Hunt’s work is mysticism as a precedent in cultural memory for the agents of modern technology.  The importance of his stature as a pioneer in the history of American music is only now beginning to be recognized.


Like Hunt, Michael Schell was born in Waco, Texas in 1961.  He grew up in Los Angeles and attended the University of Southern California, where he studied with Robert Moore and Frederick Lesemann.  He earned his Masters degree in 1985 from the University of Iowa, where he studied music and video with Kenneth Gaburo and Hans Breder.  A composer and intermedia artist, Schell is known for his video performances, which explore contemporary themes of longing, isolation, science and the environment, and for his electronic music performances using synthesizers and samplers in addition to electric flexlamps and prepared autoharps.  Both interests are reflected in his work with 77Hz, the electronic arts ensemble he co-founded in 1991.  [[email protected]]  []


Soufle d’un petit Dieu distrait [A Little distraught God’s breath]

by Beatriz Ferreyra



Beatriz Ferreyra was born in Argentina in 1937.  She has composed steadily since 1968, and collaborated in films, ballets, concerts, and festivals in France and elsewhere.  Her studies included: piano study with Celia Bronstein in Buenos Aires, harmony and musical analysis study with Nadia Boulanger in Paris, and composition study with György Ligeti and Earl Brown in Germany.  Non-occidental musical systems and music therapy have been the focus of her research in France and other countries.  She has also investigated new techniques of composition as a result of new methods of musical pedagogy.  She has worked at the ancient O.R.T.F. in Paris with Pierre Schaeffer and collaborated in the realization of his Traité de l’Objet Musical and Solfége de l’Objet Sonore.  She has also worked with Bernard Baschet on his Structures Sonores and his new musical instruments.  Dartmouth College invited her to work with the Bregman Electronic Music Studio in 1975.  In addition to her compositional work, she has been an adjudicator of several international competitions.


Hard Cash (and small dreams of change) by Katharine Norman


Hard Cash (and small dreams of change) uses interviews made on the streets of London, and recordings of a fun-fair on Brighton Pier.  Throughout the piece the texture is woven with the sound of a spinning coin, in various guises.  The work is an ironic elegy for the sound of hard cash, and a scherzo for our small dreams of change.  It seeks to merge the hard, unfinished quality of location-recorded sound, perhaps, the aural equivalent of the hand-held camera, with the computer-transformed reality of filtered tones and pitches; a computer music program that explores how things are, how things seem, and how they might be.


Katharine Norman is a British composer, based in London.  She studied at Princeton University, and held various academic posts in the UK before deciding on a freelance career.  Her computer music attempts to cross a divide between abstract music and aural documentary.  A CD of her recent work, entitled London, is available on the NMC label and was voted one of the albums of the year by The Wire magazine.  Other pieces are available on Discus and Diffusion i Média labels.  As a writer, she edited, and contributed to, A Poetry of Reality: composing with recorded sound; Contemporary Music Review.  Until recently, she was a director of the Sonic Arts Network.  Currently, she is on the board of the International Computer Music Association. [[email protected]]  []