selected older works

Guna II: Rajas (2007)

for eSitar and octophonic soundtracks

In Samkhya philosophy, Guna has one of three tendencies: tamas (inertia), sattva (lucidity), and rajas (dynamism). Rajas leads one to activity, to pursue what one does not have. This composition is a collaboration between myself and Ajay Kapur, whose robotic drummer, MahaDeviBot, is involved in this performance. Ajay’s sitar is extensively modified so his performance gestures can be clearly tracked and used to influence the performance. Predetermined soundscape recordings are played, and are algorithmically processed and diffused into 8 channels in real-time; Ajay’s performance is a combination of improvisation and composed melodies.

Ajay Kapur, eSitar

Stream (2005)

A soundscape work, created in Max/MSP, that explores the multiple meanings of the title: moving water, moving people, moving data.

Silicon/Sand (2005/2006)

Silicon/Sand is a musical journey that attempts to discover the similarities between apparent opposites: ancient and modern; east and the west; acoustic and electroacoustic; abstract and poetic. Using a poem by the 14th century Sufi poet Hafez of Shiraz as an anchor, the work explores different aspects of this objective. The Sufi tenet of repetition and re-exploration of ideas is a basis of the work, as material is reworked in new ways.

Originally a live performance between Persian tar virtuoso Amir Koushkani and interactive computer music system, this is a condensed studio version that includes various autonomous signal processing algorithms. It was this work with Amir that led me to explore intelligent software algorithms for interaction and generation.

Resonant Postcards (2005)

Stereo reproduction of an immersive, 8 channel live soundscape work. Based upon the concept of “audio postcards” – 20-40 second clips of soundscape recordings. Live processing is a complex method of resonant filtering based upon spectral energy.

English Bluff (2004)

Collaboration with Halifax cellist Norman Adams. Norm requested an interactive work for cello and Max/MSP that he could perform solo, without me being present. Seemed straightforward, until I realized that all of my interactive software required me to “babysit” it and nudge it along. So I created a system that shuffled chopped up recordings of him improvising. On reflection, it was my first generative work that initiated its own structure.

Obsessions Délicates (2002)

My last acousmatic work. Somewhat ironically, I approached my first tape piece in over ten years as an instrumental composition, creating sounds that suited a conceptual and structural need, rather than allowing sounds to define themselves. Sounds are divided into three classes: initiants, continuants, and concludants; different sections of the work explore relationships between these sound types in a somewhat obsessive manner.

Anagrams (2000)

Video music derived from three movements of Anagrams – 12 pieces that each explore a different world music source recording through realtime granular synthesis. All are live studio compositions, realized using software written in Max/MSP. Video generated using ArtMatic, several tracks derived from the audio, and mastered in Premier.

1. Malayisah

2. Isis Luminance

3. A Veneer Theory

Soundbytes (1991)

A fixed-media work created while living in the US in the 1990s during the (first) Gulf War. Source material is mainly taken from television. Premiered at Northwestern University, 4/91, only a few weeks after the Gulf War ended.

Small People Behind the Big Red Suns (1988/1992)

Originally commissioned by Judith Marcuse Dance for choreography by Serge Bennathan in 1988.

In 1992, I added some hypercomplex percussion parts for performances in Chicago and Berlin – the latter concert was billed as USArts (I was studying in the US at the time).