I finally finished my first electroacoustic piece! (for those of you who aren't familiar with the genre, it uses recorded sounds as a basis instead of traditional notation and instruments. Wikipedia has plenty to say on the subject). This new piece, Creatures from the Black Bassoon, uses bassoon sounds to create a variety of animal-like characters. The form is more or less based on the golden section, with a number of contrasting “windows” in the sound.
Here's what it sounds like:
This piece was composed with Pro Tools 7 LE (Steven Eiler's copy), 8 HD (OU's copy), and 10 (my copy), with processing by DigiDesign/Avid's usual audiosuite plugins, GRM Tools Classic and ST, and Sonnox Oxford Reverb.
Those of you familiar with my music (both of you) will notice that this is pretty much unlike anything I've written. After all, if I'm wanting to be an acoustic composer, why switch to electronic music? Well, there are a couple of reasons. First of all, marketability. Most academic job listings for composers now require some sort of electronic background, and if I'm looking to get a job in academia, this can only help (Will I get a job in academia? Do I want to? That's another blog post). Secondly, the process of creating this piece has been valuable in learning how to use Pro Tools (an industry standard) and has allowed me to listen to (and think about) sounds in a new way. This is similar to my work with New IMPROV! Century Ensemble, where any sound is fair game. And of course, there's also the value in having an 8 1/2 minute long piece of music that requires no performers.
So what's next? Prepared piano? Instrument and tape? Pipe Dreams for wind ensemble? We'll find out.