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Musique Concrete + Electro-acoustic Music

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SOU Sound-Art

on 12 June 2013

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Transcript of Musique Concrete + Electro-acoustic Music

Musique Concrete
+
Electro-acoustic Music Musique Concrete Musique Concrete:

Denis Smalley - Wind Chimes: This one was very intriguing to me because I have always loved everything about wind chimes... I was very curious to see Smalley's interpretation of different sounds made by wind chimes. At first it sounded like just a mixture of tones, spaced out in a haphazard form, but towards the middle I put on my headphones (mostly because the sounds were bothering my pets) and the experience became entirely different: encompassing, and almost eery. A mixture of chime sounds, atypical of what is expected, sprinkled throughout, is the best way for me to articulate it. Without a sense of wind, the "wind chimes" take on a different meaning. They are clearly being played intentionally as a musical instrument with different notes and sounds. Very interesting piece.

Ligeti - Artikulation: I also found this piece very intriguing. The sounds are very minimal and small, but together and playing off of each other they create a very interesting sound environment. I felt almost as if I was inside a computer hard-drive or something, hearing the little nuances of electronic signals. It actually reminded me of a Tom and Jerry skit that takes place on a spaceship, and the only sounds heard are the electronic sound effects the characters create, and in that sense this piece was very similar. The sounds felt like reactions to actions taking place, and were very futuristic.

-Tiara Lavitt 4/8/13 Musique Concrete I am sitting in an empty room
by Alvin Lucier
This was an interesting piece because it starts out as spoken word in which one does not regard as music, but as the piece progresses the words are recorded over and over again until they become unrecognizable and only the harmonies and tones resonate. The space acts as a filter and essentially the words are transformed into pure sound. The entire process took about 22 minutes to complete.
Kevin Jenkins
4-9-2013


Different Trains
by Steve Reich
Different trains was an interesting piece because the string quartet and voices involved were very representative of the sound of the railway. This particular work by Steve explores the cross country trips he took as a child and the trains that transported the Jews to imprisonment during World War II. The voices heard throughout the music was of actual Holocaust survivors and the train conductors of the time. Although the story behind the music is quite sad the music is actually not so melancholy.
Kevin Jenkins
4-9-2013 Iannis Xenakis (1978) Mycenae-Alpha This is the first piece of electronic music that is attributed to working with digitizing the sound from a computer driven drawing program. visually, the lower portion of the page is associated with lower tones- gaining upward motion in pitch through upward motion in line. The density of lines has a direct relationship with the dynamic. The thicker the line, the louder the volume. The higher pitches have the sound of electronic strings or high winding motors. Lower pitches sound much like static noise. The curing of the line allows for smooth tonal bending/sliding of pitches. It is an interesting concept, to give "voice" to a digital process. However, the correlation between top lines= highest pitch seems to obvious for me and possibly a bit arbitrary. I'm not convinced that this is the way pitches had to be assigned. John Zorn (1988) Forbidden Fruit very dense everything recedes to accompaniment for the vocal lines, which are handled vocally much as a sprechstimme. unusual mix-
good information, aural "resting places" of information that seems understandable... juxtaposed with difficult information, heightens a desire to understand the meaning.
I even caught a snippet of a concerto I recognized (and many more I thought I knew). In this way , the strings mimic the "live mixing" of the turntable. vocal line is minimal but very rich- each sigh or sung tone is very important, and seems to be a key to understanding not only her spoken vocal lines but the piece as a whole. Interesting "child-like" quality to her voice, and the manner in which the strings match her tones is given at the end of the work- which culminates with the spoken line. "Composed of sixty sections in all, four sets of twelve variations each, and twelve themes, all squeezed into ten minutes, this is perhaps my most compact and fast-moving piece to date." -John Zorn on Forbidden Fruit Forbidden Fruit was written reminiscent of film noir. All the pieces on the album "Spillane" are written around the conceptual theme of Zorn's impressions of Mickey Spillane's work. Karlheinz Stockhausen (1959–1960) Kontakte This piece, written by Stockhausen, is 35 minutes long and somewhat of a journey to comprehend. It sounds very robotic and kind of terrestrial or interplanetary; this could be the theme of the piece. the composition hones in on the use of a piano, various percussive instruments and prepared sounds. The feeling of the piece is mostly anxiety provoking and one senses a slight bit of loneliness when listening to it and the extended silences between movements

Post By: Joseph Dalcin
Date: 4/9/13 John Cage (1953) ‘Williams Mix’ William's Mix, by John Cage, is a musique concrete' composition consisting of 8 simultaneously playing magnetic tapes. the sounds are in part real life, but in part distortions of reality and some engineered sounds. the piece is 4 minutes and 15 seconds long. the theme of the piece is using the concept of juxtaposition of everyday sounds to produce a collective soundscape to produce a different affect in different listeners.

Post By: Joseph Dalcin
Date: 4/9/2013 "Kontakte"
by Karlheinz Stockhausen This is a long piece, composed in 1958-60. It is performed live, and involves a piano, multiple percussion, and prerecorded electronic sound effects. I loved it. It's really cool to watch the percussionist play many instruments at once, and the piece itself is constantly engaging. The electronic effects are very otherworldly, and make heavy use of panning. The percussion and piano fill out the rest of the soundscape, but overall there is a lot of silence and empty space, which adds to the tension. by Cheyenne DeLoach
4/9/13 "Ensembles for Synthesizer"
by Milton Babbitt This piece is made exclusively with one of the first RCA synthesizers, composed by Babbitt for RCA in 1961 as they developed new synthesizers. It's basically an 11 minute long soundscape of synth arpeggios and small gestures, testing the limits of the synthesizer. Babbitt apparently liked the synthesizer more for it's precision in reproducing fast rhythms than for it's ability to create new sounds. That sentiment is very evident in the piece, as the arpeggios are all too precise to be human, and rapidly change throughout the entire run time. It's definitely interesting, but by the end of the piece I was tired. Your attention is constantly forced in different directions, sometimes several times in one second. by Cheyenne DeLoach
4/9/13 Otto Luening: "Low Speed" Musique concrete--The sounds from which this piece is built are simply recordings of Luening playing the flute. This is slowed down heavily, making the flute samples almost unrecognizable at times, and reverb and tape echo effects are also applied. There are long rests between notes, accentuating the effects added. 1952. 3 to 4 mins.
Post by Trevor Lamberson. Pierre Henry: "Variations pour une porte et un soupir" Musique concrete--Pierre Henry builds the track mostly out of heavily edited, distorted samples of what appear to be squeaky doors and human sighs (hence the title). As the piece progresses, the sounds advance toward increasingly unfamiliar territory. They begin to evoke images of farm animals, or saxophones, or familiar percussion instruments. Reverb is also added in certain sections. As a whole, the piece serves as a reminder of the fact that we are constantly surrounded by some very enjoyable sounds that we can't generally register unless we make a conscious effort. 1963. 2 to 3 mins.?
Post by Trevor Lamberson. Low Speed by Otto Luening Otto Luening (1952) Low Speed - Luening and Ussachevsky worked in the Columbia-Princeton Electronic Music Center on tape composition. This piece explores slowed down flute sounds.
Best known as a pioneer of electronic music, Otto Luening was an American composer, conductor, flutist, and teacher, as well as an ardent supporter of contemporary music. During his lengthy and prolific career, Luening produced more than 350 compositions in a variety of styles, mostly chamber music. Yet his experimental and electronic arrangements—comprising only a small fraction of his life’s work—marked him as an innovator in the field.

For me, this piece is haunting and beautiful in the same way that whale songs make me feel. It has a flowing quality and it is probably influenced many new-age composers of electronic Music. posted by: Eddy McManus
Date: 04/11/13 Music For Airports Brian Eno Brian Eno (1978) Ambient 1/Music for Airports [CD] Virgin Records, EEGCD17. I.
Influential English composer, producer, engineer, writer and visual artist. He is known as the father of ‘ambient’ music. His production credits include U2 and The Talking Heads.
Music for Airports was the first of four albums released in Eno's "Ambient" series, a term which he coined to differentiate his minimalistic approach to the album's material and "the products of the various purveyors of canned music"
The music was designed to be continuously looped as a sound installation, with the intent to diffuse the tense, anxious atmosphere of an airport terminal. Eno conceived this idea while being stuck at Cologne Bonn Airport in Germany in the mid-1970s. He had to spend several hours there and was extremely annoyed by the uninspired sound atmosphere.[13]
It was installed at the Marine Air Terminal of New York’s LaGuardia Airport for a brief period during the 1980s.

Personally, I do love the piece as I am a fan of Ambient music. posted by: Eddy McManus
date: 04/14/13 Hugh Le Caine: Dripsody Dripsody was composed in 1955 in one night, using a drop of water into a bucket. It uses several different pitches for the drop of water. There are a lot speed or tempo changes throughout the piece, as it builds and builds and then slowly fades back down into a single drop of water.

I really enjoyed this short piece as it was very unique and interesting to listen too. I could picture in my head drops of water falling into a bucket. I loved the sound it produced with the manipulation of the pitches. I also enjoyed the way the piece built up and then slowly calmed back down.

Lindsey Blodgett Diamanda Galas: You Must Be Certain of the Devil The piece was composed in 1988. There are a lot of high pitched singing, and flat out screaming. The the piece is very busy as there is a lot going on with the music and singing/screaming. Sounds like there is an organ playing. The piece feels very grainy and dark with all the different noises and pitches of screams, both high and low. The piece ends with the sound of a hiss.
I didn't enjoy this piece, but I think that was the artist's intent. I found the tone to be very dark and menacing. With all the different screams it seemed as though the piece was recorded to sound like "hell." I found the lyrics interesting, but were drowned out by the screams. A very interesting piece none the less and definitely evoked a certain feeling and emotion.

Lindsey Blodgett
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