deCOMPOSITION for ENSEMBLE
World Premiere of An Improvised Interactive Composition
For The NYU New Music Ensemble
by Damian Catera
Esther Lamneck-Conductor/ Artistic Director
monday december 8, 2003 @ 8pm
Frederick Loewe Theatre, 35 West 4th St. , NYC
The Dialectic of Order and Chaos is The Very Essence
deComposition is a process off sonic attrition where sounds are sampled and broken down. New sounds emerge from the destruction, which is chaotic and probabilistic. This is a music of the moment, which is generated and experienced, in real- time. All sounds are generated by the performers. deComposition For Ensemble , my first real-time processing piece for a group of improvisers, reflects a coming together of my interests in electroacoustic improvisation and synesthesia. Each member of the ensemble is provided with an abstract image, which acts as a visual score and the basis of sound creation. The ensemble’s visual score- based improvisations are sampled and algorithmically manipulated in real-time. These manipulations act as an electronic score for further improvisational explorations.
deComposition is an improvisational approach, which I have worked to develop during the past few years. In this process, sounds are sampled and manipulated in real-time with algorithms, which I wrote in the Max/MSP programming environment. Additional real-time processing is achieved utilizing GRM Tools and Arboretum Hyperprism. These sound manipulation algorithms reflect my interests in stochastic composition as well as relationships between randomness, order and chaos. For historic antecedents, and as a point of departure, one may look to the probabilistic works of Iannis Xenakis and the expanded instrument improvisations of Pauline Oliveros. One may also view this as a combination of Musique Concrete with the rich and varied history of improvised music, executed in real-time with early twenty first-century technology. Improvisation has been a very important force in the development of this approach. Although my efforts as a soloist have been successful, I welcome the opportunity to take the evolution of deComposition to the next level through a series of ensemble and collaborative pieces. My primary reason for this is a sincere desire to engage in a creative dialogue with accomplished improvisers who would simultaneously expand the palette of sounds and possibilities. As this is a fairly open ended process, collaborators certainly have the freedom to leave their signature on each implementation. I also feel quite strongly that this is inherently a collaborative process, which allows for the exploration of the space between intent and unpredictability. This represents both a significant step in the evolution of the process as well as a realization of its true meaning.