Draconids

Soprano saxophone, bassoon, and interactive electroacoustics

2011

 

Commissioned and performed by Post-Haste Reed Duo (Javier Rodriguez, bassoon; Sean Fredenburg, saxophone)

 

Approx. 7'30"

 

Performance history:

 

  • Red Note New Music Festival, Illinois State University, 2015

  • San Francisco Festival of Contemporary Music, 2013

  • Prospectives International Festival of Digital Art, University of Nevada, Reno

  • Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, 2012

  • SEAMUS National Conference, 2012, Lawrence University

  • College Music Society Southern Regional Conference, Univ. of South Florida

  • Jubilus Festival, University of Florida, 2012

  • Future Music Oregon, University of Oregon

  • Digitech Showcase, Florida State University

  • Florida State University

  • Louisiana State University

 

 

 

    In October 2010, I had the pleasure of seeing my first meteor shower from a beautiful North Florida beach. In the extreme early morning hours, hundreds of meteors flooded the sky from all directions. Some were quick and dazzling; others, to my surprise, drifted on slower, winding paths across the sky before dissipating into the night. The sense of amazement I felt while watching this beautiful phenomenon is one that I will never forget.
     In Draconids, I have ventured to render my impressions of the experience in musical form. To ensure that the electronics are flexible and completely responsive to the performers, the computer uses pitch tracking, allowing them to interpret the music at their own pace.
     The instrumentalists act partly as illustrators—establishing materials to which the computer adds motion and color; and as observers, reacting both to one another and to the overall soundscape. Multiphonics in the instrumental parts introduce altered harmonic spectra that further expand the tone colors available for the computer’s extraction and manipulation. These multiphonic spectra are also reflected microtonally in much of the wind instruments’ melodic material­. Often, the melodic passages are consonant with the multiphonic’s harmonic spectrum, but even more often, I was fascinated by the sound of notes just outside the multiphonic spectrum. This effect can be heard especially in the final section, where the instrumentalists’ sound is convolved in real time with bassoon multiphonics, leaving behind long, sonic trails.

© 2018 by Joshua Keeling. All rights reserved.

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