Notated Sounds

dredge ii

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alto saxophone, electric guitar, percussion, piano

The Mississippi River navigates its own way through the lower delta and into the Gulf of Mexico, leaving a meandering wake through the swamp. This structured meandering fascinates me, a singular entity pulling water from the entire country splitting and churning through its last inexorable motion. In dredge ii the performers navigate fragile material through such a journey. The score encourages new movement and uncovers novel sonic behavior, letting the performers dwell with their sounds and the complex environment in which they find themselves, each sound simultaneously independent and part of the swampy whole.

Zaira and Irene

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full orchestra

Zaira and Irene takes its name from Italo Calvino’s Invisible Cities, in which Calvino imagines fictitious exchanges between Marco Polo and Kublai Khan about the fantastic cities Polo has encountered in his travels. I let Calvino’s vivid descriptors of distance, time, and relationship guide the cycling iteration of my material.

 

Glances Full of Muted Colors

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double bass

Written for the 2020 Louisiana Music Teachers Association commission; performed by Will Yager. 

This piece leverages Yager’s facility in both contemporary classical and improvised music with specific, interfering performance techniques.

Anthrophony

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at least 3 percussionists

Commissioned and premiered by Adam Groh and the Western Carolina University percussion studio.

This piece was inspired by the foundational work of Bernie Krause in acoustic ecology and role sound plays in the natural world. I used this research as a model for sonic interactivity. anthrophony thus asks performers to bring themselves into this sonically interactive space by improvising the piece and their percussion setups.

Interdisciplinary and Improvised

lullaby, for

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natural water source, hydrophone, small speaker, collected trash, field recording

lullaby, for is an experimental improvisation environment. The performer must move the Bluetooth speaker (playing the field recording) around the jug to generate and explore different feedback tones; the trash when placed in the jar interferes with the wave patterns, generating new tones in the field recording playback. The piece posits an indirect relationship between feedback as “noise,” as a sonic pollutant, and the damaging effects of human waste on natural ecosystems. Every performance of this piece is a new opportunity to listen patiently to the system, and respond to what it shares.

Thin Places

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fixed media track and free improvisers

thin places uses both an aural and graphic score to create an improvisation environment for performers. The aural score comprises processed field recordings and synthesizers. The resulting video was generated with max/MSP, and responds to the performers’ tracks.

Bayou La Terre + Gliogarnach

gliogarnach score

Bayou La Terre was a weekend-long collaborative workshop in the spring of 2021 led by studio artist Cat Gambel and me. Participants formed and fired clay rattles, then performed a text piece I devised for the weekend, gliogarnach. Throughout, we discussed identity in art making, the body in relationship to material, and land.

FREE IMPROVISATION with Justin Peake

extended voice, live processing, field recordings, synthesizers

As an improviser I’m interested in texture and the microsonic behaviors of subtle sounds. I explore this through extended vocal technique practice, which I augment with a max/MSP patch (see linked document for a technical patch overview). My performances center gestural interaction and processing “feedback” that encourages the exploration of new spaces with both my voice and electronics.

Images

Words

Sound American 23: "Conversations" with inti figgis-vizueta (2020)

inti and I chat about listening and institutions, our thoughts about the sounds we're making, and each other's music.

"Crashlands" by CRASH Ensemble for RTÉ Culture

I reviewed CRASH Ensemble's 2019 record Crashlands for RTÉ Culture, Ireland's flagship public news institution.