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Bang on a Can Summer Festival Composer Concert
Monday, July 29, 2013 @ MASS MoCA's Hunter Theatre.
Todd Reynolds, conductor
Lina Andonovska, flute
Megan Clune, clarinet
Daniel Cutchen, oboe
Molly Germer, violin
Micah Ringham, violin
Hannah Nicholas, viola
Douglas Machiz, cello
David Sánchez, double bass
David Abraham, marimba/glockenspiel
universe explosion is an acoustic piece as a zoomed out timeline of the universe, from big bang to heat death.
I originally intended for the live ensemble to be a representation of humanity, but quickly discarded the metaphor when a friend pointed out that having humans appear so early in the universe's timeline could subject the music to a number of comparisons to young Earth creationism, all of which I wanted to avoid.
The piece is largely an exploration in dealing with blending the role of a conductor and a DJ.
When a DJ performs, he or she uses a self-built rig of controls to effect the music as it happens. In many ways, a DJ set is an improvisation session. When DJing in Ableton Live, you have the option to select sound samples from a grid layout to create combinations which can evolve either slowly or obliquely. Like notated music, the sounds in the grid are all preconceived (of course there are exceptions) and it is up to the DJ to mix and match. I want to give the conductor a little bit of this power over the texture and density of music, and with a mastery of both Ableton Live and the conducting sign-language known as Soundpainting, Todd Reynolds (@digifiddler) was the conductor to make that happen.
Thanks to everyone at @Bang on a Can and @massmoca for making #mocabang the best musical experience of my life.