RESEARCH


Inscribing Sound Forms [2016]
Composers interested in transferring sound forms can use their knowledge of sounds and contexts to guide the process of selecting and pairing together sound with inscriptional contexts. Depending on the difference between the two contexts, a cognitive dissonance can, in theory, emerge between the contextual associations of the transferred form and the context or domain into which it is transferred. If listeners are to be challenged by the effect of inscribing a sound’s form into a new or different context, then it is necessary to choose sounds and contexts, into which to inscribe them, that are recognisable to listeners, despite the emergence of any cognitive dissonances. This paper discusses my development of a suite of computer programs used to produce materials that create the illusion of one sound’s form as inscribed into another.

Published in the Proceedings of Journées d’Informatique Musicale 2016, Centre National de Création Musicale d’Albi-Tarn, France


From Instrument to Controller [2016]
Abstract
While the popularization of analog effects in the 1960s changed the electric guitar sound, the application of digital signal processing techniques has transformed the instrument into a controller. Arguably, this shift transcends the domains of hermeneutics and psychoacoustics. When faced with a new electric guitar sound, audiences might brush it off as just another effect. However, it is the effect itself that is the focus of their attention, which, in turn, minimizes the electric guitar and its role as a sound producer. In a sense, the effect supersedes its source. This paper discusses how advancements in digital music technology have changed the ways listeners engage with the electric guitar.

Presented at the 4eme Journée des Jeunes chercheurs du GREAM, Strasbourg, France


Single Sample: Virtual Laptop Ensemble Communities [2016]
Abstract
The laptop ensemble, defined here as a group of performers on more than one microprocessor based instrument, is one of many advocates contributing to the notion of the virtual band. Over the last decade, laptop ensembles have emerged all over the globe, and their recent surge in popularity is the result of the widening intersection between like-minded computer programmers, composers, and performers, and the accessibility and portability of innovative technologies. The laptop ensemble music scene can be observed as a lattice structure or network of participating nodes such that members simultaneously interact with each other at a common locality, as well as what Andy Peterson and Richard Bennett categorize as local, translocal and virtual levels (Peterson and Bennet, 2004). This chapter will investigate the different types of interactions between laptop ensemble participants through cases studies of laptop ensembles who concentrate on virtual performance.

Published book chapter in The Oxford Handbook of Music and Virtuality. Shara Rambarran and Sheila Whiteley (eds). Oxford University Press: New York City.


A Theory on Musical Translation [2015]
Abstract
As an electroacoustic composer, I am interested in establishing connections between disparate, even seemingly unrelated, sounds. I use computer technology to fabricate sonic regions of coincidence, where my coordinated mix of carefully selected sounds suggests relationships between the sounds and the illusions they foster. My interest in inscribing the spectral qualities of individual sounds into sequences of sounds defines my compositional practice. If one were to generalize and categorize my compositional interests, one could argue that, when performed successfully, this practice is akin to the procedures of a translator, who determines the semantic meaning of a linguistic message encoded in the sender’s language and communicates it in the language of the receiver. Others may adopt the position that though the composer may create a system that resembles a linguistic-based model, her highly personal music, in all its complexities, is non-translatable. Additionally, there may be some who condemn this discussion as being wholly moot given their position that music is not a linguistic-based system of communication in which propositional semantic meaning is determined through distributional and syntactic organization and is therefore incapable of being translated. This dissertation addresses these ideas and explores the possibility for translation in music as I define it.

Ph.D Defense – defended (successfully) on April 15, 2015.


L’Autre Musique une enquête sur les bruits [2015]
A short interview on noise and my fixed media work along the eaves (2015). Published and available online by L’Autre Musique Laboratoire


A Few Words on cadenceStudie [2014]
Abstract
A short paper that traces the organization of motivic material in my work cadenceStudie for multiples of two identically pitched percussion instruments.

Presented at the Midwest Graduate Music Consortium 2014, University of Wisconsin – Madison (Apr. 2014).


Lost in Transformation: Composer as Translator [2014]
Abstract
This paper examines the concept of translation in music. The misuse of the word — whether as a part of the “music as language” conjecture or interchangeably with other trans- prefix words — underscores a need for clarity. While I propose that translation is a specialized, ontological branch of transformation, relative to the musical practice, there are multiple modes of translational production due to the temporal nature of medium. This paper is divided into two sections. The first section delineates differences in the use of the term translation and provides a workable definition within the bounds of music composition. In order to better understand this, I enlist the insights of Ashby, Bateson, and others for a cybernetic explanation of the operation. Finally, I question the need for analysing [sic] music relative to its context by applying the principal theories of Badiou and Žižek as they pertain to the process of translation. The second section highlights compositional sketches derived from my translational studies, some of which are realized in my fixed media composition OSCines (2013). I discuss pre-compositional complexities concerning the abstraction of sonic source materials and their projection, as well as translational issues that emerge as a result of my compositional choices.

Presented at SEAMUS 2014 Conference, Wesleyan University (Mar. 2014); Toronto International Electroacoustic Symposium, Toronto, Canada (Aug. 2013).


Glitch Lich: Evolution of an Intercontinental Network Band [2012]
Abstract
In this paper the authors, as members of the laptop network band Glitch Lich, discuss their evolution over nearly five years of performance. We detail our transition from a group exploring game theory to performers of network music and programmers of networking software. A brief overview of the technology developed and used by the band is provided. In conclusion, we present a collection of new directions for the ensemble and network music as a whole.

Presented at the Symposium for Laptop Ensembles and Orchestras (SLEO), Louisiana State University (Apr. 2012).


Idealism and Failure in Improvisational Laptop Performance [2012]
Abstract
The four composer/performer members of the Florida League for Indeterminate Performance (FLIP) discuss the successes and failures of the ensemble from individual perspectives. Each section presents a subjective window into FLIP, informed by a member’s own musical interests and ideals concerning laptop performance and improvisation. The windows presented can be encapsulated as follows: issues of spectacle and performance context, musical missteps and individual/group tension, thwarted orchestrational concerns respective to a free improvisation model, and a re-evaluation of the potential to not perform. In light of these individual perspectives, we begin to see FLIP as a discursive arena for music and music politics that surrounds a collaborative/ confrontational performance practice.

Presented at the Symposium for Laptop Ensembles and Orchestras (SLEO), Louisiana State University (Apr. 2012).