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Embarking on the Electronica/Band Bus

November 9, 2007

I’ve been exploring software possibilities and trying to sort out what’s easily do-able, what’s possible but perhaps tricky, and what would be just a downright bad idea when it comes to the technological side of my next work: a consortium commission for a piece I’ve wanted to create for several years, which combines wind band and electronics to create music that is natural and necessary, not a gimmick. At the moment, as I mentioned, I’m laying the groundwork for what software and hardware I’ll use, trying to keep it as robust and inexpensive as possible.

The last couple of days I’ve been playing with Ableton’s Live, which I used a few years ago, and have always liked. My other main option is to use MOTU’s Digital Performer. While I’m more familiar with the latter, and will probably use it to create the soundscapes and such, I’m leaning toward Live for the actual live performance. As you might tell from the name, it’s geared for exactly that use.

After I get a handle on some of the physical/financial limitations of such a work, I’ll start on the music itself. The orchestrational possibilities are daunting – I’m still having a hard time imagining how some of these timbres will mix (or not) with winds and percussion in a live, concert hall setting.

More details as I get deeper into it.

For those who find this sort of project interesting, this is a consortium commission, and I believe it’s still open for more members to join. Please contact Bruce Moss at Bowling Green State University if you wish to join the consortium. Or, if you want more details about the scope of the project, you’re also welcome to e-mail me, as always.