Beat Species Counterpoint

beatspeciescounterpointBeat Species Counterpoint for drums and live signal processing was premiered in 2002 with Kurt Snyder on drums. The drum microphones are sent through a custom interface written in Max/MSP. The interface allowed for the second performer, on laptop, to “scratch” the live drums on a Wacom drawing tablet. In addition to the performance at the Peabody Conservatory of Music, it was presented in technical detail at the University of Minnesota “Emerging Digerati” seminar in 2002. Duration: 7:30 Pictures from Premiere:

Beat Species Counterpoint, Picture 1 Beat Species Counterpoint, picture 2 Beat Species Counterpoint, picture 3  

Helen Valnliere

helenvalnHelen Valnliere for narrator and electronics, was written in 2003. It is the third and final installment of the “Some Antics trilogy” with poet Michael Walter.

The piece is for one narrator and live electronic music. The narrator speaks Walter’s poetry in a sort of half-rhtyhm-half-sprectstimme style. All the accompaniment is generated in realtime using Max/MSP. The text tells the story of a young Helen Valnliere (pronounced Valn-lee-air)

Duration: 7:00

I Meant You Have Blue Eyes

blueeyesI Meant You Have Blue Eyes is a short, fun percussion piece for 2 narrators. Bordering on a theater piece, the text is sometimes funny, sometimes sad, but always rhythmic. A great concert opener for percussion, voice, or any mixed ensemble. Although it is technically a voice piece, it can be performed by either gender or combinations of men and women.

The work consists of four movements: Slow, Fast, Moderate/Fast, and Slow.

All text by Michael Walter, used by permission.

duration: 5:20

Example pages:

I Meant You Have Blue Eyes I Meant You Have Blue Eyes

Mix Tapes

mixtapesMix Tapes is a percussion work for 3 narrators. It is the second part of the “Some Antics Trilogy” with poet Michael Walter. The work consists of three movements:

I. Whisper: Three poems are split between the three narrators

II. Poem 1/Poem 2: 2 poems read simultaneously, split between the three narrators

III. Grand Rapids Sutra: One poem split between the three narrators. The text for this movement has been published in other contexts.

All text by Michael Walter, used by permission.

Duration: 6:00

Still Life

stilllifeStill Life for steel drum ensemble (pan ensemble) was commissioned by Greg Secor and Grand Valley State University Steel Drum Ensemble. It was written in 2000, and premiered at the Urban Institute of Contemporary Arts in Grand Rapids, MI.

The concept for this piece was to fuse Caribbean timbres with post-minimalistic rhythmic and harmonic concepts. Still Life is dedicated to an old (but not forgotten) friend.

Duration: 7:00

Score Excerpts:

Still Life, Page 1

Still Life, Page 1

Perpetual No. 2

perpetual2Perpetual No.2 was commissioned by Andrew Martin and Christine Taylor. The notion of perpetuality in music, that is to say, music that has a constant pulse that never (or only very briefly) deviates is one that is found in the music from the concert hall to the dance hall. In this series of pieces the composers aims to exploit this dichotomy by inviting a concert hall audience to let their heads sway forward and backward.

Although very short, this work requires a fair amount of endurance due to the never-stopping nature of it. The performers should avoid at all costs letting the 16th note pulse slow down. Even to the sacrifice of pitches and rhythms, the pulse is the most essential element of the piece.

Example Pages:

Perpetual No. 2 Perpetual No. 2 (Click on the image for a bigger version)