The listening rooms at SEAMUS 2014 in CFA Hall and World Music Hall will also be available this year through streaming through WesCast! The files will be on continuous loop, in the order listed below. Please drop in online and in person!

Hands Would Have Been Used [7:32], Larry Gaab
S/P [3:31], Stephen Lucas
Lumena, [6:06] Nayla Mehdi
Refractions II [8:36], Christoffer Schunk
Stream, Stone, Surface [7:30], John Thompson
Collage 3 [9:18], Juan Carlos Vasquez
Voyager [9:40], Edwin Huet
Iridescence [6:50], Linda Antas
what remains… [6:57], Tom Baker
Improvisations with Varying Degrees of Restraint [8:35], Sean Peuquet
Two Folk Studies [9:00], Kristina Warren
FL [6:24], Benjamin Whiting
Meditation [6:24], Clay Allen
Waterglass Music [6:08], Morgan Greenwood

Program Notes

Hands Would Have Been Used, Larry Gaab [7:32]

The work concentrates on touch, as in putting the hand to. Contact with the physical in space. To handle something or feel it being handled. Making meanings from observations of an activity performed by someone else, as in the movements of a dancer or wood carver. The piece aims to create an intimate and knowing identification with the sounds’ contact points. Kinesthesia through aural means. A sense impression as hearing with the body. The music leads to various physical sensations through a wide range of rhythms and tempos. Colorings expand the depth of shapes. Space is utilized to insinuate palpable qualities evoking movement
and weight.


S/P, Stephen Lucas [3:31]

Have you ever been so frustrated with something that you wanted to strongly express how tired you were of it in a prepositional relationship to the place that you were occupying?

In this piece, primordial building blocks are collided in a virtual science experiment that is both instructional and mystifying in its unfolding. Collision physics and audio physical modeling combine to distort your perception of reality and space.


Lumena, Nayla Mehdi [6:06]

This work for sound and video explores two main concepts: the concept of liminal space, that essence of being in a place of transition, waiting and not knowing; as well as the Japanese concept of Ma, that of the elements between spaces.

The audio was created using Symbolic Sound’s Kyma, specifically exploring the spectral components of field recorded sounds. The video art concentrates on naturally captured scenes of light and shadows, with minimal modification.


Refractions II, Christoffer Schunk [8:36]

Refractions II is a conceptual continuation of its predecessor piece, Refractions. Both are fixed media works, utilizing field recordings, recorded instruments, and sine tones. Refractions II focuses on the blend of natural sounds with unnatural sounds (sine tones). Distorted melodicas create a third category, blending into the loose homogeny of the work. The piece behaves like a Venn diagram, highlighting similarities and differences between 3 types of sound.

Refractions II also addresses the varying grades of silence. In particular, it uses the fuzz of powered speakers to provide an appearance of silence. As this sound fades, a stronger degree of vacancy envelopes the ear, complimented by the sound of the speakers in which the piece is being projected. The ear cannot perceive silence but this work presents its likeness in varying forms, revealing musicality in the empty spaces.


Stream, Stone, Surface, John Thompson [7:30]

Stream, Stone, Surface reflects on movement, stillness, and pattern. Its parts are flows, objects, and textures.


Collage 3, Juan Carlos Vasquez [9:18]

Collage 3 is part of a series of experiments conducted to prove the digital capabilities of tone expansion in a single acoustic instrument. In this particular piece, the composer recorded an original performance of Eugène Ysaÿe’s Sonata No. 3 for solo violin, and reinvented the audio files deconstructing the piece as a collage, using different and complex kinds of digital audio processes to create a post-modern electroacoustic version of the original sonata. As a result, the usual acoustic violin timber is expanded into deep and rich atmospheres filling the entire range of frequencies.

The collages series is also a sonic application of British painter JMW Turner’s technique to use layers of colours and textures to turn everyday landscapes into powerful and expressive oneiric fantasies.

No other samples than the mentioned were used in the making of this recording. As many of the mentioned processes use aleatory parameters, each time the track is exported creates a different result. The present recording was selected by the composer after listening to nearly one hundred versions of the piece.


Voyager, Edwin Huet [9:40]

A meditative sonic narrative inspired by recent deep space travels and trans-dimensional odysseys, as well as Steve Reich, Blade Runner, and helicopter pianos.


Iridescence, Linda Antas [6:50]

Iridescent (from Latin iris ‘rainbow’)—displaying a spectrum of luminous colors that shimmer and change due to interference and scattering as the observer’s viewing angle changes.

Pearls, beetles, butterflies, cuttlefish and other cephalopods, hummingbirds, bornite, bismuth, soap bubbles, opals, DVDs and oil on wet pavement each exhibit iridescence caused by redirected light. Coloration caused by micro- or nano-structures is referred to as “structural color” and is a common cause of iridescence in the natural world.

I was fascinated by the diverse manifestations of iridescence in nature and by the physics of iridescence, which links color and structure. I was also struck by the poetry of it: it is only by looking at something from different angles that we fully appreciate its beauty and complexity. Iridescence contains textures that shimmer, or that were created with processes that parallel the diverse directions, angles, and fluctuations that produce iridescence.


what remains…, Tom Baker [6:57]

what remains… is dedicated to the memory of M—a good friend and an extraordinary musician. M’s recorded improvisations on contrabass were integral to this project, both as inspiration and as musical material. Short samples were used as generative sound slices for the piece, then processed and re-composed to create the sonic landscape using MAX/MSP and AudioMulch. All of the processing is temporal, creating a kind of time-machine of this great musician’s work. I have had the opportunity to hear this work performed live several times, and the experience has given me a sense of joy and peace. I want to thank M. for this gift, and I hope that what remains… appropriately expresses the deep admiration I have for his work.


Improvisations with Varying Degrees of Restraint, Sean Peuquet [8:35]

Faced with the question “what’s this piece about?,” my answer was to throw more material at it and see (hear) what stuck. I then tried to show it sticking. Initially, I developed a software instrument and recorded ten iteratively-layered improvisations that serve as a backdrop or canvas for the piece. Shorter passages were then added to the mix, generated using a wide variety of techniques ranging from musical feature analysis to improvised electronic guitar.

The process of working on the piece became a bit less haphazard in the striping away of material; by carving out silence and space, distinctions between the materials became possible, and ultimately, meaningful. In this way, issues of timing, pacing, and the articulation of form were the last things to be considered. I think of it as music in search of an idea rather than music composed in response to one (what I normally do).


Two Folk Studies, Kristina Warren [9:00]

Two Folk Studies originally arose from my interest in the question of whether a contemporary art music composer can create folk music, and what that might entail. In the first of these two studies, I affect various vocal personae and use production techniques to imply (and question) sonic ethnography. In the second study, I employ similar techniques but delve into the realm of textual sense and nonsense. Here, lyrics are often unintelligible, questioning typical conceptions of textual meaning and instead locating meaning in timbre, orchestration, and rhythm. In this study I argue that at the intersection of sound and meaning in digitally-produced, loop-based vocal music, identity can be articulated—indeed voiced—in ways not possible in other genres.


FL, Benjamin Whiting [6:24]

FL was inspired by my experiences living in the state of Florida, having witnessed how greed, opulence, extravagance and, above all, human beings’ need to warp, pervert, and destroy for the sake of their own amusement has ravaged the ecology of a once beautiful place on Earth. I have fashioned this piece in a kind of rotational form, with each successive cycle bringing with it further distortion and decay to the original musical material. With each successive rotation, the increasingly weakening voice of nature is drowned out by the sounds of industry and the so-called “fun” found in theme parks and at eroded, highly-developed, touristy beaches. I have tried to capture the anguish of the environment along with the inexhaustible mania found within human society for its pursuit of ephemeral, materialistic happiness.


Meditation, Clay Allen [6:24]

Made up of only recorded sounds, Meditation is comprised of three components: The Lord’s Prayer, the Doxology, and the traditional Affirmation of Faith of the United Methodist Church. Rather than containing any specific meaning, I intend for Meditation to reflect different meanings for different people. I invite the listener to project his or her own thoughts and ideas on the piece. It is my hope that every listener experiences the work in a way that is personal and meaningful.


Waterglass Music, Morgan Greenwood [6:08]

This piece for two channel audio exclusively uses sounds created with a single cup of water, ice and straw. I tried not to work from a mindset of “less is more” but rather “more from less.” The cup used is one that I regularly have very full of tea and many times throughout the composition process this was no different. The straw itself was “borrowed” from a nearby Chinese buffet where I was struck with the inspiration for the piece during lunch, staving off boredom by playing with the straw and cup as I did often as a child.

The term waterglass, while referencing the sound material itself, also brings other associations into play that inform the way materials are used and also the form of the piece itself. Also called sodium silicate, the substance water glass is often available as a white powder that is readily dissolvable in water. Other times, it itself is a liquid that is more viscous than water. When heated, it quickly forms glassy and granular crystals that are often used in conjunction with other elements to create sealants that are used in many industries.