Essays

On Synthestration: Part One

On Synthestration: Part One

When I started writing music, there was no notation software –  thus making it essential that you either had to clearly hear the music in your head or at least, with some level of confidence, make sure that you could bang it out on a piano.  This is how I composed throughout high school and my first year at Oberlin.

My friend Wally gave a copy of Finale during my first year of Oberlin (on two 3 1/2 inch disks)…

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You Have The Power To Kill Them There’s Nothing Left To Think About Only How To Do It

You Have The Power To Kill Them There’s Nothing Left To Think About Only How To Do It

What is New Music Bullshit, you might ask?

New Music Bullshit is music that is based on the premise that you, the listener, couldn’t possibly understand what the fuck you just heard. Yes, you hear pitches, noises, rhythms, silences, timbres, and lots of other arcane shit. You really want to make sense of it, and like all the other befuddled patrons around you, you page relentlessly through your program looking for a plausible explanation, any miniscule fact…

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Calianno Durational Index and Categories (CDIC)

Calianno Durational Index and Categories (CDIC)

The Calianno Durational Index and Categories (CDIC) is a method to clearly indicate an approximate duration for a new musical work.  For example: "Compose a piece no more than ten minutes in duration" can now simply be expressed as: "Compose a Category III piece." More expressive possibilities, including a means to express potency, is forthcoming.

Miniatures: Cat. N: 0-3 minutes

Common Works: Cat. I: 3-6 Cat. II: 5.5 - 9 Cat. III: 9-13

Significant Works: Cat. IV: 14-21 Cat. V: 21-44 Cat. VI: 44-90

Evening Length Works: Cat. VII: 90+

Cat[x]a = comprised of wholly unique and substantial parts that can be played apart from the set, whose individual duration is less than Cat but when added together will equal Cat.  E.g. IVa would be a suite of pieces - like a collection of preludes, nocturnes, etc.

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Generating Resonance and Illusions of Polyphony Using Methods of Heterophonic Diffusion (DMA Thesis)

Generating Resonance and Illusions of Polyphony Using Methods of Heterophonic Diffusion (DMA Thesis)

In a series of lectures given by Anton Webern in the 1930’s, entitled “The Path to New Music” and “The Path to Twelve-Tone Music,” Webern offers a teleological perspective of musical history which places twelve-tone music at its apex. He points to the fact that with the emergence and flourishing of polyphony in the late Middle Ages, a new musical space had opened up where the importance of the single voice had been replaced by homogeneous contra- puntal textures. As he continues to suggest, this polyphonic writing came to its peak in the works of J. S. Bach, before new ideas about accompaniment and melody emerged in the Classical era.

However, it was with the advent of twelve-tone music in the twentieth-century that melodic and harmonic parameters became synthesized in the design of the row. It is in this point of musical evolution where Webern found himself, a musical space where he could “sum up whole ideas in a single part, as an independent melody.”

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