Impulse Curve (2019) » light sensitive controller, live electronics » 6'
Impulse Curve is an immersive work for LightMatrix, a custom-built light-sensitive control surface consisting of 256 photoresistors, and loudspeaker array. Originally premiered as a multi-day installation in an 18-channel geodessic dome, this work is meant to be presented as an N-channel sound installation in a gallery space for passers-by to interact with and experience. Several digital soundscapes are continually active throughout the installation, and participants are encouraged to explore the exhibit in order to discover the means of interaction by which the soundscapes can be influenced. Some parameters respond most strongly to large, obvious gestures, while other musical parameters are most sensitive and active when physical interaction with the device is extremely subtle. The composition can be performed as a solo 5-minute concert work, or configured to run as a gallery installation for an indefinite length of time.
Kitchen Sink (2019) » live coding improvisation (n-channel) » '30
Performed May 4th, 2019 at the Immersion Festival in Urbana, IL
Kitchen Sink is a live coding improvisation written in SuperCollider. This recording is a binaural mix of the premiere, originally performed by the composer on an 18-speaker geodessic dome at the inaugural Immersion Festival, hosted at the Independent Media Center in Urbana, Illinois on May 3rd and 4th, 2019. The audio samples that form the rhythmic and arhythmic textures are drawn from nearly a decade of personal recordings from nature, technology, and collaborative sessions with instrumental performers. During performance, the algorithms do most of the sample-choosing, rather than the performer, and the title is a reference to the high degree of freedom given to the computer, which uses “everything but the kitchen sink.”
Depth of Field (2018) » tenor saxophone, light-sensitive controller, live electronics » 12'
Nathan Mandel, tenor saxophone
Depth of Field is the first work composed for LightMatrix, a control surface consisting of 256 light-reactive photocell sensors. The development and construction of LightMatrix spanned one and a half years, during which time the design evolved considerably, taking several forms and implementations. As patterns of light and darkness are projected across the surface, LightMatrix tracks and digitizes sensor voltages, and transmits a corresponding collection of values over a computer network in real-time, through which they can be received and arbitrarily mapped onto sound parameters. In this composition, the sensor data is partitioned into sub-groups in order to control different aspects of sound independently and simultaneously; shadows cast over certain parts of the instrument’s surface manipulate computer-generated sound, while shadowing other areas controls various effects applied to the tenor saxophone.
Nose Dive (2017) » wind controller, touch controller, live electronics » 13'
Nathan Mandel, wind controller
Nosedive is a highly collaborative, interactive, and largely improvised work for wind controller and touch controllers, which explores the musically expressive capabilities of digital instruments. Initially conceived as a work “for wind controller,” the emphasis subtly shifted as the piece developed, resulting in a work that gives two performers different but relatively equal roles. The computer is the true “instrument” being played, and the two performers share (and sometimes compete for) control over musical parameters through various physical interactions. The aesthetic of the work has a crossover flavor to it, attempting to blend a historically-informed electroacoustic style with elements of pop-electronic dance music.
Invisible Ink (2016) » pen/tablet controller and live electronics (8-channel) » 9'
Invisible Ink is an electroacoustic improvisation that treats a digital pen/tablet controller as a gestural musical instrument, originally premiered on an eight-channel speaker ring. To generate tension and momentum, the piece probes the boundary between diegetic and non-diegetic sound, and explores linear and non-linear spatialization techniques. The audio software used in this improvisation was unable to natively read pen-specific data (tilt, rotation, pressure), so instead, the software calculates supplemental control values from x/y position and click data, in order to estimate parameters such as speed, angle, and average position. Pencil and eraser sounds for the foundation of the sample library, resulting in an immersive sonic experience that treats the listener as if they were a point on the center of a writing surface.
Brain Candy (2015) » sensor augmented gloves, live electronics (4-channel) » 7'
In October 2015 I began learning how to use the Arduino platform, an open-source hardware/software microcontroller kit. I purchased several light- and motion-sensitive resistors, and fashioned a pair of homemade sensor gloves using my old bicycle gloves. I spent considerable time experimenting with different physical gestures, and after narrowing in on a set of reliably reproducible hand movements, composed a set of sounds to accompany these gestures. The overall goal was to use physical gesture to create expressive music. Brain Candy is the result.
With Oui (2015) » multimedia work for dancers, motion sensor, live audio & video » 10'
A deeply collaborative and interactive multimedia work for six dancers, suspended motion sensor, and live audio/video processing. The various components of the work aim to convey a narrative of discovery, human communication, and mutually supportive relationships. Several computers are networked together in order to exchange data via OSC, establishing a live performance environment in which audio can freely manipulate visual elements, and vice-versa. Composed in collaboraiton with Rodrigo Carvalho (visuals), Billie Secular and Ladonna Matchett (choreography), and Gianina Casale, Nick Kao, Zach Khoo, Sam Olayiwola, Kelsey Oliver, and D’Lonte Lawson (dancers). Premiered at EARS, Eyes and Feet at The University of Texas at Austin on May 8th, 2015.
Genetic Anomalies (2014) » multimedia work for dancers, motion sensors, live audio & video » 7'
Motion sensors are affixed to dancers’ forearms and legs, enabling direct and realtime control of both audio and video. The work was composed in collaboration with Mackenzie Taylor (choreography), Ladonna Matchett and Billie Rose Secular (dancers), Jeff Kurihara (video), and Andrew Carson (lighting). Genetic Anomalies was premiered on May 3rd, 2014 at EARS, Eyes + Feet, at The University of Texas at Austin.
Singularity (2014) » wind ensemble, live electronics » 15'
Performed by The University of Texas Wind Ensemble
Singularity is a three-movement work inspired by the idea of a technological singularity, a theorized point in time at which human-created technology becomes capable of creating technology superior to itself. The piece outlines a narrative of interaction between organic life, represented by the acoustic instruments, and non-organic life, represented by the electronic sound.
Singularity was completed in 2015 and was the sole recipient of the 2014 James E. Croft Grant for Young and Emerging Composers, awarded by the Atlantic Coast Conference Band Directors Association.
Fractus V: Metal Detector (2013) » percussion, live electronics » 6'
Adam Groh, percussion
Fractus V: Metal Detector is fifth in an ongoing series of interactive duets for solo performer and interactive electronic sound. Both the human performer and the computer improvise unique material with each performance, and numerous musical parameters are left to the discretion of the players, including instrument/sound choices, and the lengths of musical sections.
Like other pieces in this series, the composition aims to explore the possibilities of uniquely-generated content, establish a dynamic relationship between human sounds and computer sounds, and of course, showcase the musician’s talent.
Chaos and Order (2013) » interactive electronics » 6'
Chaos and Order was originally a multimedia piece titled “Colliders,” created in collaboration with choreography by Mackenzie Taylor, lighting by Eric Gazzillo, and interactive video by Jeff Kurihara, and was originally premiered at Ears Eyes + Feet at the University of Texas in May 2013. In its original version, the musical and visual events were influenced in real-time via computer messages, executed as reactionary gestures to dancers’ movements. In this recording, the audio is extracted from the rest of the work, and represents one possible instantiation of a standalone solo improvisation.
Fractus IV: Bonesaw (2012) » trombone, live electronics (4-channel) » 10'30
Steve Parker, trombone
Fractus IV, written for trombonist Steve Parker, is one of an ongoing series of electroacoustic pieces involving a single performer and varying degrees of computer interactivity. Controlled randomness pervades the piece, and each performance of the computer interaction is unique. Numerous parameters are subject to random procedures throughout, but by design, the piece retains its overall shape from performance to performance. The duets in this series aim to provide practical solutions to the issues of synchronization, establish an unstable yet harmonious dialogue with the computer, and most importantly, showcase the musician’s talent.
hEAR TOuch Listen (2011) » installation
hEAR TOuch Listen is a site-specific performance installation designed for the Bass Concert Hall lobby at the University of Texas at Austin in collaboration with Florian Tuerke and Rene Rissland. Physical feedback loops are established with subwoofers and contact microphones, using the metal handrails as a musical medium. Through digital signal processing, the natural resonant frequencies of each segment of handrail are extracted and emphasized, creating a metallic musical choir.
Short Ride in a Used '98 Honda (2011) » fixed media » 10'30
Originally inspired by Max Weber’s 1915 Cubist painting, New York At Night, Short Ride In A Used ’98 Honda began as a commission from the Blanton Museum of Art, but was later developed into a standalone, three-movement fixed media piece. The composition reflects elements of city life, particularly the fast-paced and sometimes chaotic experiences on the road, beginning as a raw field recording and expanding into an introspective journey. Sound sources were drawn from automobiles, motorcycles, crowd noise, and simple waveforms.
Fractus III: Aerophoneme (2011, rev. 2012) » flute, live electronics (4-channel) » 12'
Meerenai Shim, flute
Fractus III explores themes of self-exploration, transcendence, and divine retribution. The outset of the piece is curious, nebulous, and arrhythmic, struggling to find a sense of security and place. At first, only the front speakers are active. A regular pulse begins to emerge, and the flute eventually settles into a state of symbiosis with the electronic sounds. Tension grows between the flute and computer and comes to a head, at which point the pulse dissolves, all four speakers become active, and noise aggressively spreads throughout the performance space. When the dust clears, the flute briefly enjoys a dreamlike, emotionally charged melody, but is gradually and forcibly exiled by the electronics.
Étude I (2010) » fixed media » 5'
A short composition study, coded using SuperCollider, during the first couple of years in which I began using the software more seriously.
Fractus I (2010, rev. 2012) » trumpet, live electronics » 11'
Jared Broussard, trumpet
Fractus I is an electroacoustic work for trumpet and SuperCollider in which the acoustic and electronic components play mutually supportive roles. Instead of following an extra-musical narrative, the work explores various synthesis techniques, focusing especially on the expansion and contraction of pitch content. The work was composed at the University of North Texas in 2010 and revised in 2012. The piece was awarded first prize in the ASCAP/SEAMUS Student Commission Competition at the 2012 SEAMUS conference.
Cordillera (2009) » orchestra » 5'
UNT Symphony, Ludwig Carrasco conducting
Cordillera is an exploration of melodic variation through a lens of orchestral color. The first three pitches of the minor scale serve as the primary melodic unit, and are subsequently are inverted, sequenced, and organically developed as the piece progresses. These short gestures make up larger, more prominent sections of distinct upward and downward motion. The resulting formal structures are the motivation for the title; the piece is, at times, reminiscent of an expansive mountain range — there are moments of intense struggle and moments of tranquility, sometimes in close proximity.
At the Speed of Sound (2009) » brass and percussion ensemble » 2'45
Performed by members of the North Texas Wind Symphony
Inspired by the potent dynamic capabilities of the brass family, as well as the phenomenon of sound itself, At The Speed Of Sound is a short, exuberant fanfare intended as a concert opener. The piece originates from a simple triplet figure, and development thereof is achieved through rhythmic variation, canon, and polytonality.
Fantasy for Wind Symphony (2007) » wind symphony » 6'30
Performed by the Kawagoe Sohwa Wind Ensemble
Fantasy for Wind Symphony is a lively, tumultuous work composed in early 2007. The piece explores a variety of sounds, textures, and dynamics, but always holds fast to a brief and ubiquitous motif. The work is intended to engage performers and listeners alike, and be a thrill to both play and hear.