abstract. EINSPIELUNG. INSTRUMENTALE LEKTÜRE. MUSIK FÜR ENSEMBLES L'intervalle est un accessoire originaire et un accident essentiel [du chant]. Jacques Derrida, De la grammatologie. I call my piece an Einspielung ('recording in the public domain'). It is concerned with intellectual play: the establishment of a language of tones, born of the childlike anticipation of a sensuous-to-sonorous transformation together with a futile temptation to adequately comprehend this latter. To be sure, any such conceptualization of play which this word implies must be understood as a discrepancy, as, for example, in the way that a recorded interpretation of a piece is never capable of capturing sonic events situated outside the time frame of the recording. Nevertheless, it is still a question of organising the documentation of an imaginary Instrumentalspiel (instrumental performance) which arises from my piano playing (Spielen) during the compositional process into a reading reflection (which can be revisited). My music does not aim to conform to the customary seating plans of concert podia. It is neither for orchestra nor for ensemble groups, even if it moves between the poles of these instrumental formats. Rather, it treads the paths of instrumental encounter and probes instrumental connections, conjunctions of substance and accident, in order to invite solos intensified through self-referential heightening, duplicated duos, indiscreet chamber music, and impossible unisons to extreme (de)dimensioning in a domain whose scope is itself constantly modified by the discourse it contains. In this work the instrumentation does not define the genre, while the reading of a book initially unknown (by avoiding to disclose it, let us say: perhaps Derrida's De la grammatologie, whose second part, along with the subject matter of Rousseau's Essai sur l'origine des langues, according to Friedrich Kittler, could be read as a philosophy of partial tones) directs the act of composition, without being the programme of the resultant music. This composing strives towards bringing a text to the surface that, at the point of its emergence, re-enlivens abandoned pleasure of anticipation in order that concentrated energy might resonate as 'linguistic timbre'. Accordingly, this music also possesses no global formal organisation, only attempts at enclosure in various states. May 2010, Sebastian Semper.
This dissertation consists of two musical compositions that systematically explore the idea of collecting, organizing, recycling, concatenating, and transforming large pools of fragments borrowed from other composers. At the core of this research is an investigation the malleability of borrowed musical materials. The pieces are Drei, Dai, Dry (viola, violoncello, and percussion) and Intellectual Improperty 0.6 (laptop orchestra). A brief analysis of each piece is provided in the appendix. In the acoustic piece, algorithmic processes--computer-assisted or not--developed in previous works were reformulated and reutilized with a significantly increased number of score fragments. The granular technique called concatenative synthesis became a useful metaphor for the symbolic manipulation of the fragments. This process can be referred to as a kind of algorithmic score sampling. In the electroacoustic piece, concatenative synthesis--in its MaxMSP implementation called cataRT, by Diemo Schwarz--is used for the sound generation and manipulation of audio samples extracted from several recordings of piano pieces. The approach to musical borrowing differs according to the medium of composition. These differences originate in the very nature of the borrowed fragments in each case; audio samples in the electroacoustic domain, and notated samples in the acoustic domain. Drei, Dai, Dry and Intellectual Property 0.6 demonstrate these differences, particularly in regard to the degree of formalization of musical material. The composition of the two pieces was accompanied by considerations on the political and socio-economic dimension associated with musical borrowing today. The practice of musical borrowing can extrapolate and engender a discussion of the very notion of ownership of ideas. In fact, music, as well as open source computer software, has had a leading role in the process of questioning the concept of intellectual property. This dissertation attempts to provoke that debate.
The Nominal (2006-2007) and Noumenal (2007-2009) cycles, scored for fourteen performers, electronics, and video projection constitute my DMA Final Project. Each cycle consists of five pieces of varying instrumentation and duration. The total duration of the two cycles when presented continuously is ca. 80 minutes. Nominal and Noumenal may be performed separately, or as a single conjoined "meta-work." Alternatively, each of the contained pieces may be performed autonomously. To date, 9 of the 10 works have been performed and/or recorded individually.
London : Printed for the Author, & Sold by him at No. 1, Bury Street, St. James - at Messrs. Corri, Dussek & Co. Music Sellers to her Majesty, No. 7 Dean Street, Soho & Bridge Street, Edinburgh, [1794-1795]