PROGRAM NOTES

Gerrymander was commissioned by F. Gerard Errante, which inspired the title. However, I thought the name was musically appropriate, as well. The essence of gerrymandering is the creation of election districts of unusual, sometimes bizarre shapes, in order to include or exclude specific blocks of voters. In this case, I tried to take the clarinet on an interesting musical path, with some unexpected twists and turns, partly for purely musical reasons, and partly to include specific effects and techniques I wanted to try. The piece features a variety of real-time DSP effects applied to the clarinet, written in MAX/MSP. The player generates most of the electronic accompaniment himself, which is captured and processed by the computer. I also used sounds derived from clarinet samples provided by Gerry Errante and Ann McCutchan, and bassoon samples made by Carolyn Beck. Various techniques are employed to control the computer part, including pitch tracking and score following, as well as a simple MIDI foot pedal.   -RP

Grito del Corazon (Cry of the Heart) was inspired by Goya's "Black Paintings". Commissioned by the Ensemble Barcelona Nova Musica. It premiered at the VIII Festival de Cinema Independent de Alternativa 2001 and was subsequently performed at the Stadelijk Museum in Amsterdam and the League/ISCM International Festival in Miami (2003). The contents of the paintings deal with terrifying subject matter, such as Saturn devouring his Son. The piece is scored for digital music, video and live performer(s). The digital music was created using RTCmix  (Realtime Cmix), with extensions developed in the Virginia Center for Computer Music (University of Virginia), by John Gibson, John Rhoads and Dave Topper. The live performance component involves guided improvisation. The aim was to create a pitch/timbre/time framework within which the performer could respond to the digital music and video.  –JS

a light went out...  On September 14, 2003 Ruby, our beloved four-year-old cat, companion, and playmate passed from our lives. In just two short weeks a mysterious illness changed her from an impish, energetic, fairy-like creature to a weakened, frail, but dignified shadow of her former self. This piece is an attempt to capture some of the elements of Ruby, from her vibrant joy of being in this world, to her sensuous sense of sleep. She is in permanent sleep now having prematurely left, with many lessons yet to teach us. We celebrate the time we had with her; we will never forget her. -FGE

Chant/Songe presents a duo between the clarinetist and a dream version of himself. This imaginary duo is accompanied by resonant strings and a hand drum (both synthetic, and capable of rather unusual transformations). This intimate, ghostly ensemble follows the clarinetist through a variety of increasingly extreme moods. Chant/Songe is written for and dedicated to Gerry Errante. The world the clarinet inhabits in the piece was inspired by his sound and presence as a performer. Chant/Songe could not have come into being without his help and collaboration. The computer part for this interactive work runs in the Max/MSP software environment. -AM

Gerry Rigged was commissioned by F. Gerard Errante. The work incorporates a mobile formal structure in which the performer makes decisions regarding the order and frequency of a variety of shorter gestures within a larger structural framework. The performer's choices have a direct impact on the resultant electronics, hence the title "Gerry Rigged." This work strives to capitalize upon Mr. Errante's expertise as a performer of contemporary music and expert in extended techniques for the clarinet. The work is dedicated to Gerry Errante who was a tireless resource and has also exhibited great patience in waiting a long time for this new work.   –JCN

Swing Bridge is a video-art-music celebration of the Brooklyn Bridge. On May 24, 1983, the span was closed to motor traffic to celebrate its 100th anniversary. Dancers, musicians, and actors performed on and around the bridge all day; that evening, there was a grand fireworks display.  Swing Bridge features processed images of those events, created at the Experimental Television Center, Owego, N.Y. The music is for solo clarinet with an accompaniment that draws on various old swing-band recordings. These were cut up into small soundfiles and combined and altered using SoundHack and other software. One such alteration is known as convolution, in which common frequencies are reinforced while others are suppressed. This works interestingly as a way to project a "ghost" of one piece of music onto a totally different piece of music. The work was commissioned by clarinetist F. Gerard Errante.   -RW

Echoes of the Invisible for clarinet and tape was written for F. Gerard Errante in Summer, 2003. I have long been interested in music that explores slow harmonic rhythm and small changes of color over time. By emphasizing melody and color in the clarinet the shifts of tonal centers seem like greater arrival points than one encounters in chromatic music. For some reason, as I began this piece I had a flash of an image from Jean Cocteau's film "Beauty and the Beast", and this image has permeated and influenced this composition. Belle is running down a long hall with windows and shear curtains on either side. This hall appears suspended above the ground as if it were a hallway between the third floor of two buildings. The curtains are blowing in the wind. The whole scene is proceeding in slow motion. Belle is searching for something or someone, but it isn't clear what or who. Despite the fact that the curtains are moving freely in the wind, her dress and hair are unmoving as she glides, almost effortlessly down this long hall toward an unknown goal. I don't understand why I have always found this scene so moving, but the dreamlike nature of everything in this image has always entranced me. Somehow it speaks to the pervasiveness of emotional memory, and the means by which we become haunted by unseen, but pervasive residue of lives and events in the spaces we inhabit. -PT

Sha loosely translated from the Yiddish, means "Quiet" -- as in "please be quiet." I wrote it over the course of two years, simultaneously raising a new daughter (born in 1999) and leaning a new software programming language (born in 1997). It represents my struggle to be creative while reorganizing my priorities as a parent. While writing it, "Sha" was a working title -- sort of a joke, since it's what I felt while writing it when I was called to change a diaper or something -- and kind of evolved into the real title. Sha is a departure for me in another way. Up to this point, I have been writing tape-plus-clarinet pieces. "Sha" is written in a program which allows me to record the instrument to be later mutated and played back as the accompaniment to the live instrument. In other words, almost everything you will hear in the electronics (with a few obvious exceptions) is something recorded earlier. -ML

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