Found Sound Collage Proposal Draft – Adam

I am currently working on a concerto for piano and electronics. In the piece, the pianist controls the electronics via a midi foot pedal positioned next to the normal pedals. The piano part is basically finished for the whole work, but I am still working on the electronics for each movement. My proposal is to create the electronic “tape” for the final (fifth) movement which will ultimately be a work of psuedo-musique concrete.

I would like to take the noise machine that I built for the first project, the Computone (the computer instrument), and sample the sounds it creates to be incorporated into a work of musique concrete to accompany the piano for this movement.  Basically, my project is to create the “tape” for this movement, although different sections of the playback are coordinated with the live piano by the foot pedal, so the actual playback will vary by performance.

I understand and embrace the fact the fact that certain lines become blurred in that the point of my Computone machine was to take live sounds and make them sound electronic and that now I am recording performances of these sounds and treating them as though they are natural “found sound” which they technically are. In other words, the journey the sound goes on before it is ultimately “found” is acoustic—>processed—->acoustic(sound from speakers)—–>processed/sampled. Just to clarify, there will be other sounds incorporated; without going into too much detail, since this is the final movement, I will be quoting ideas from the previous movements; however, the original, unique soundscape of this movement will be the sampled Computone.

The ultimate goal of this work is to be performed in a concert setting (along with the rest of the concerto), although the complexity of the piano part makes it impossible to perform for class and it won’t be premiered until December at the earliest. However, I can create a very convincing computer playback of the piano part so I am able to create a working demo of the piece with both the piano part and the electronics.

As far as listening modes, I would say that reduced listening would be the natural thing to do. The strange, disembodied quasi-electronic sounds make causal listening impossible other than for the piano.

As far as the final question “How will the sonic content, the listening context and listener backgrounds influence individual’s experience of the piece?”, the fact that the piece is performed in a concert setting will ultimately determine how the listener experiences the piece. What I mean is that it will be perceived as a classical “performance” which is further supplemented by the knowledge that the strange electronic sounds are being controlled by the pianist.

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One thought on “Found Sound Collage Proposal Draft – Adam

  1. Hi Adam,

    I want to hear more about the rest of the piece! I really love the multiple layers of finding and processing sounds going on here. But I’m also curious about how the computone fits into the rest of the piece as you describe. What’s the inspiration behind using it in this way? Is it important that it is the Computone? (In other words, is this conceptually important — will people know from program notes or otherwise that these are the source sounds? Or is it more just that you are interested in the sounds you can make, and the source itself is not important?) What are the other sounds you are exploring, and what is their relationship to the Computone? (Sonically? Conceptually?) What is the relationship between the pianist and the electronics? Are they just triggering sections of pre-composed music with the pedal?

    Okay, mostly I just have a ton of questions, and not a ton of feedback. Very curious to get a better sense for how this movement and these ideas fit into the overall piece!

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