Computer music featuring Barry Schrader

June 28, 2011 · Posted in Uncategorized 

This is the second of two collaborations between Michael Scroggins and Barry Schrader in the late 1980s.

When Michael Scoggins first came to me with quite detailed plans for his computer video work 1921 > 1989, I was struck by the overriding importance of structure in the piece.  While it was obviously in three large sections, the intricacies of the details of each section were such that they not only displayed specific characteristics which gave each sections its unique character, they also seemed to exhibit in visual terms the musical qualities of exposition, development, and expanded recapitulation, something akin to the classical sonata form.  In addition, the precision of the timing of the movements called for composing a score that would catch the specific “hits” of the action.  At the same time, I realized that constantly “stinging” the images would quickly grow tedious; some sort of deflection from the obviously expected was occasionally necessary in this regard.  Finally I saw that the limitations of images and colors, which were explored in great detail of variation, demanded a similar approach in the musical materials.

I decided to employ these observations in composing the music, and also to take the attitude of scoring to a preexistent choreography.  I saw 1921 > 1989 as a dance, not of human dancers, but of plastic geometric entities, constantly reorganizing themselves in different ways.  The music, then, was arrived at by considering the score as if I were composing music to a dance already created.  The resulting work reflects these attitudes, moving from accompaniment to counterpoint and back again to a more synchronous style of scoring, thus reflecting the overall structure and plasticity of the piece and creating a unified whole.

For more information, and an explanation of the title, go to barryschrader.com ➔ video

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