@ East Caroline University & North Carolina NewMusic Initiative
A.J. Fletcher Recital Hall, East Carolina University, Greenville, NC

Three Excerpts from s_traits
Bill Seaman/John Supko

Twitter Music
Scott Lindroth

Travis Garrison

Bubble Coitus
Keith Allegretti

Étude Géologique No. 2
Lee Weissert

Aural Spiral #1
Lin Culbertson

seascape triptych: hermetica
Daniel Blinkhorn

Dancing Tree
Thomas Rex Beverly

Melissa Grey

A Portrait of Pablo Picasso by One of His Lovers
Rodney Waschka II

From Whence They Sing
Stephen Anderson

David Morneau

Elainie Lillios/Bonnie Mitchell

s_traits is an ongoing collaboration between Bill Seaman and John Supko. It started in 2011 with conversations about generative music and how to make it. The two quickly discovered that they had been independently exploring what might be described as the “uploading” of human creativity to the computer: Supko’s work involved developing software that emulated his compositional process; Seaman was investigating how creativity could be codified and reanimated through artificially intelligent systems.

1) the drive is on the blink 2) flung overboard as poetic justice 3) at the end of the mouth

Every detail of Twitter Music is generated by text patterns found in a set of 1000 English-language Twitter messages posted shortly after the assassination of Osama bin Laden. Every message contains the word “osama”. The sonification makes audible the different communities of shared tweets about this momentous event. I pay no attention to the meaning of the words. As a reminder of the music’s origins, a screenshot of the algorithm in action runs simultaneously with the performance, offering the audience a chance to see the emerging communities centered around particular shared terms (on lines beginning with “---->”).

selectric.metal: Type. Bounce. Hit. Manufacture. Drone. Mix. Bake. Serve.

Bubble Coitus was created using purely electronic technology, without any reliance on recorded sound. Opening with a series of broad gestures build out of synthesized pops, the piece paints images of thousands of tiny bubbles in a cloud. These clouds move through different densities, contours, and volume levels, each one painstaking constructed to be different from the others. The sonic result is something that is organic and tactilely stimulating.

Étude Géologique No. 2 is the second in a series of electroacoustic compositions that uses natural materials as source sounds. Several hundred recordings were made of bottles, crock pot lids, window panes, carboys (large vessels used for brewing beer), crystal glasses, and salad bowls. The recordings are heard in their unaltered state. With 33 sections ranging in duration from four to thirty seconds, the concept of “formal section” veers at times indistinguishably into that of “gesture.”

Aural Spiral #1 is the first in a series of compositions inspired by Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty. In this study, a photograph of the actual Spiral Jetty has been transmuted into sound through the use of a computer program, and loosely rendered in synthesized sound. The rhythmic pulsing of water and wind lays the foundation for the first appearance of the jetty aural event. With each subsequent appearance, the duration of the event is halved, accelerating to the point of spiral origin. Finally the spiral submerges, sinking into obscurity beneath the pulsing waves.

hermetica attempts to capture the sonic vitality accompanying the life of a colony of hermit crabs. After encountering a surreptitious colony of hermit crabs on an island off the coast of Venezuela, I lowered a microphone into the colony, hoping to eavesdrop on their activities. The beautifully articulated sound I heard produced an impression of motion and dexterity as the crabs grappled and vied within their colony. I was struck by the disparity between what I saw—the crabs moving so slowly and awkwardly over one another—and what I heard—sounds of sheer density and intensified activity. The sound was processed to reveal this heightened aural activity and, whilst nudging and transforming some of the sounds, the overall shape of the work was designed to create a portrait of the colony, allowing the listener to observe another aspect of sound ecology from a seascape environment.

Dancing Tree is a product of my fascination with slow growth. The tree in this time-lapse video is about 300 years old, but is only 15 feet tall because of the desert environment where it grows. The music in this piece is a sonification of the subtle, but often frenetic movement of the dancing tree on one windy day in the desert of west Texas.

Colony explores the acoustical perception and symbolic communication of the honeybee. Field recordings from hives in Nova Scotia, summer 2010.

A Portrait of Pablo Picasso by One of His Lovers (2014) was created by using audio processing software to read visual images as audio input—in this case, an image of Pablo Picasso and images of three of his paintings. The resulting sounds, including clouds of clicks and pops, were then manipulated in an intuitive manner. The sounds heard in the initial part of the music reappear throughout the work, modified and often detached from the other sounds that form the beginning of the piece. For a brief survey of some of Picasso’s lovers, see http://sapergalleries.com/ PicassoWomen.html

From Whence They Sing, for electronic media, was created entirely from a single sound file that was recorded at a street market in Tijuana, Mexico. The title loosely echoes the words of a street musician who sings, “de donde son los cantantes” as he plays the claves, and while a nearby street vendor repeats over and over the words, “one dollar...one dollar...” Various portions of the file were extracted and manipulated in Sound Hack, Audio Sculpt, Sound Edit 16, and Peak software, and the modified sounds were subsequently mapped in Pro Tools.

Relief: This sonic palindrome was created using a waveform editor to delete, clip, cut, and paste little bits of a synthesized sound. Originally intended only as a private exploration, it has become the music for a piece of dance by Erin Tisdale Feiler.

2BTextures: i. Branches ii. Breath. 2BTextures is a two movement abstract animation that explores the complex relationship between experimental audio and visuals. This experience takes viewers on an integrated sonic and visual journey into a surrealistic environment influenced by nature.