scores available for purchase upon request
lily [bloom in my darkness] (2017)
(voice, 2 violas, bass clarinet doubling saxophone, piano, electric harp, live electronics, choreography; version for )
Lily [bloom in my darkness] is a 35-minute electroacoustic opera for voice, live electronic processing, pulse sensors, two violas, saxophone doubling clarinet, harp, and dance with an original libretto by poet felicia klingenberg. Lily explores the psyche and heart of Lily Isabel Bunny, an orphan who fled England at the start of WWI in 1915, alone, age 25. She took a ship to Montreal and then a train, which she rode to the end of the railroad, arriving at Cascade Tunnel east of Everett, WA. Through imagining a dream Lily may have had her first night sleeping in a cabin in the Pacific Northwest wilderness, this work explores her transformation upon entering a new world, and thus explores the experience of migration and displacement that unites our species. The live electronic processing, sensors, dance, and live instruments explore this interconnectedness through constantly influencing one another, transforming the role of each force throughout the work. As an abstract work, this piece does not outline a linear, temporal narrative, but rather uses sound and language to unearth the unconscious and visceral feelings that result from displacement. Using recorded language as social documentary, sensors as portals to the unconscious, improvisation as a reflection non-linguistic expression, and other forms of machine listening and live processing, lily is as much a retelling of a particular emotional story as it is the revelation of our contemporary social situation.
Lily is the recipient of a 2017 4Culture Tech Specific Grant for projects using technology in innovative ways, and the winner of the 2017 International Alliance for Women in Music’s Pauline Oliveros Prize for works exploring electroacoustic media and innovative form or style.
Tech: pre-recorded/processed crowd-sourced sounds, real-time digital synthesis and signal processing, Arduino pulse sensors, and machine listening, written in SuperCollider
(installation for nine loudspeakers, with a version for headphones)
wilderness currently exists in two incarnations: an interactive installation for loudspeakers, and a companion work for headphones, sonifying the relative density of protected wilderness areas in the contiguous United States. In the version for loudspeakers, the speakers are arranged to represent a room-sized version of the contiguous United States. Each speaker emits a synthesized sound representative of the relative acreage of protected wilderness in the immediate radius of the speaker. Speakers in areas with higher acreage of wilderness emit louder, higher pitched, and more rapidly pulsating sounds. Speakers in areas with low acreage of wilderness emit quieter, lower pitched, and more slowly pulsating sounds. All sounds were calculated meticulously to ensure a spatially accurate, relative experience of how much wilderness we have preserved and destroyed.
The 3D version of this work for headphones that curates a walk through the installation using ambisonic panning and HRTF decoding for headphones. Most of the sounds in this work are the same sounds used in the installation, but timed to create form as well as define a space.
At the end, a melody emerges from the resonant buzz, setting text from Mary Crovatt Hambidge, founder of the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences, where I composed this piece:
“The animal instinct of the world is to destroy others thinking it may build for itself out of the ruins, but the divine instinct knows that the only true structure is in building up together. Will you be counted among those who seek to destroy, or will you seek to rise to the heights, the dizzy heights where the air is so rarefied that only the strong can stay long enough to be dissolved in an ecstasy of oblivion?”
Installation tech: pre-recorded/processed sounds, digitally synthesized sounds, live spatial loudspeaker diffusion, machine listening, and iOS interactivity, written in SuperCollider. Headphone version includes ambisonic HRTF decoding
(viola, flute and live digital processing)
Atmokinesis (2017) is a collaborative work for live digital processing in SuperCollider, improvising flute, and improvising viola. Conceived with Heather Bentley (viola), it is a 30-minute journey through the elements earth, water, fire, air, and ether, which is, in another way, a journey from the core of the body to the outer spirit. The real-time digital processing is set on a timer to modulate between algorithmic processes representing different elements. The performers watch this timer and listen for electronic cues to move between elements.
Tech: pre-recorded sounds, real-time audio synthesis and digital signal processing written in SuperCollider.
Recorded @ KPOD studios at the Psychedelic Urban Treehouse Garage
subtle energy (2017)
Commissioned by LA-based duo Strange Interlude (Lily Press, harp, and Simon Linn-Gerstein, cello), subtle energyacknowledges the single vibration that generated the universe. The performers sing and speak, incorporating text from Derrick Jensen’s The Myth of Human Supremacy.
Sacred Geometry (2015)
(violin, cello, piano)
Commissioned and performed by Trio Andromeda
I wanted to explore the idea of perspective, and the idea that perspective is actually the fundamental determinant of how we experience reality. For example, a rose, up close, is a fundamentally different experience than a rose three feet away. In the same way, a musical idea that is played as fast as possible is almost unrecognizable from the same material played as slow as possible. This piece is a sonic metaphor for experiencing reality from different perspectives. The title comes from the idea that all material in the universe can be reduced to geometry, as our perspective changes, so does the apparent form of matter. The form of the piece is highly influenced by the choices of the performers – they are asked to alter the material within certain guidelines at their own will. In this way, the piece is slightly different every time, reflecting the perspective of the performers.
(orchestra - pc, fl, afl, ob, cl, bcl, bn, 4 hn, tpt, vib, str)
Symbolizes joy, playfulness, lightness, the beauty in the temporary.
Symbolizes transformation, renewal, rebirth, and the soul.
don't trust air you can't see (2014)
(voice and live electronics)
ANIMAL (2016) was written in SuperCollider and uses live processing of the voice, a live heartbeat signal from the performer obtained from an Arduino sensor, and occasional synthesized sounds and pre-recorded/processed vocal sounds. When the piece begins, comb filters with modulated delay times create an eerie, moving halo around the voice, and rumbling, phase-modulated oscillators move in and out of audibility. A folk-inspired melody adorned with improvised ornamentation moves through the changing soundscapes. At the end of the piece the voice gains ultimate control, as a pitch follower reads the sung frequency and uses it to modulate the carrier frequency of a ring modulator in real time, creating a pattern of organic, dynamic harmonies. This is when the live pulse enters the piece and designates the tempo of the final section, which varies depending on the performer’s level of anxiety.
Thematically, the piece is a meditation on bodily agency, as the voice struggles to gain autonomy, and when it does, its expression is dictated by the subconscious (the heartbeat). The text comes from the Gospel of Mary Magdalene and fragments of Sappho.
Recorded @ KPOD studios at the Psychedelic Urban Treehouse Garage
Morning Paper (January 4th) (2016)
(electric guitar and tape)
I recorded a digital improvisation on January 4th, 2014, in the early morning; Rian wrote a poem on January 4th, 2016, in the early morning, without knowledge of my previously recorded improvisation; we put them together; Rian plays an app version of a Moog synthesizer amplified through his electric guitar and processes it with his pedalboard over this recording.
Tech: pre-recorded/processed sounds, digital synthesis, live analog signal processing via FX pedals