My interest in technology in society has served as inspiration for a good amount of my recent compositional output. Actually, a number of my compositions dont just use technology, but are about technology. My 2013 electroacoustic chamber ballet, HackPolitik, set the exploits of a hacker collective to the stage, Hivemind (2014) was largely inspired by the phenomenon of online groupthink concepts, /ping/ (2015) played with ideas of communication over networks, even Astrarium (2015) and Piano Quartet (2018) are largely inspired by historical technological advancements in clockwork. I have not used electronic sound in a large ensemble piece yet, and am interested in (finally) doing so.
I would like to compose a piece in response to echo chambers in our lives, or what internet activist Eli Pariser termed filter bubbles: states of intellectual and political isolation –largely enabled by online social network platforms and and the algorithms they use to curate a validating user experience– that have a tendency to polarize people of differing ideologies and undermine civic discourse. The idea of opposing musical themes, co-existing but not initially interacting, mediated by technology (electronic sound), is evocative to me, and I think will be evocative to musicians and audiences. Beyond my interest in engaging these kinds of topics in my music, I also feel that, through our art, we can create a space for self-reflection and cultivate discussions around the role of technology in our lives.
Musical Content and Difficulty:
I feel that I can compose a convincing piece with intrigue and complexity, with slightly less difficult instrumental parts than pieces like Hivemind or Beacons, which have largely relied on more highly virtuosic writing. It is my hope that out of this comes a piece that is accessible to advanced high school ensembles. For more experience university ensembles, I would like there to be more space for interpretation and nuance with this piece, and perhaps a bit less focus on flashy instrumental writing.
Stylistically, expect something in the world of Hivemind and Radix Tyrannis (my trombone concerto premiered by Joseph Alessi and American Chamber Winds at WASBE last year). Although Id like the piece to be more accessible to younger performers than these, I also want to expose them to a piece with a broad and challenging palette of consonance and dissonance, driving rhythm and rich lyricism, and the expressive potential of timbre in an electroacoustic medium.
Instrumentation and Technology Needs:
Instrumentation: picc, 2 fl, 2 ob, 2 bsn; 3 Bb cl, 2 Bb bass cl; AATB sax;
3 Bb Tpt, 4 F hn, 3 tbn, b. tbn, euph, tba; double bass; timp, 3 perc, electronics.
The electronic component will be fixed audio (no live processing), and simply require a computer and a means of amplifying high quality sound over loudspeakers. Along with the score and parts, there will be an audio player standalone application, that will require a musician to trigger cues (hit spacebar) at specific moments throughout the score. No conductor click track will be needed.
I intend to do the bulk of the heavy composing of this piece this Summer, with the work being completed over the course of the Fall. I am proposing a PDF score/parts delivery date (electronic materials) of January 4th, 2019, with a period of exclusive performance rights for the consortium from March 2019 through May, 2020 (consortium leader retains rights to World Premiere).
Consortium Commission Fee: $350