I did an interview with Steve Ashby of VCU a few days ago. I talked about my listening habits and approach to sound in general.
JNNJ was commissioned and premiered by Hunter Brown and Louis Pino in 2016. The piece is inspired by the life and dynamics of my family. The title is a combination of the first letters of mom, dad, and two sons.
- One computer with a DAW or Max: Download files from www.joowonpark.net/jnnj . A Logic Pro X session is provided on the composer’s website, but any DAW will work. The tape part can also be played with the provided Max patch.
- Two speakers (stereo)
- Two headphones for click tracks
- An audio Interface with four separate outputs
- TapeL.aif should be routed to output 1, connected to the left speaker
- TapeR.aif should be routed to output 2, connected to the right speaker
- ClickTrackL.aif should be routed to output 3, connected to Perc1’s click track
- ClickTrackL.aif should be routed to output 4, connected to Perc2’s click track
- Two percussionists with a snare drum and a large cymbal for each performer.
- Both performers use brushes for the entire piece.
- Perc1 stands close to the left speaker, and Perc2 stands close to the right speaker
- Each performer gets his/her own click track. The click tracks will run in different tempi, and will gradually change the rate over the entire piece. Each performer should follow the tempo of his/her own click track.
- Interpret the score like a jazz chart. Improvise in the notated style (funk and swing).
- Pay attention to the pitch of the click track to hear the section changes.
- Section-specific notes:
- S1: The tape part will fade in at around 20 seconds mark.
- S2: Perc1 transforms the rhythmic pattern to a swing (indicated as “target rhythm”) while slowing down.
- S3: Perc2 transforms the rhythmic pattern to more energetic and busy funk rhythm while slowing down. Listen for the white noise cue for the next section.
- S4: Both Perc1 and Perc2 trade off solo while speeding up. The trade off will gradually overlap each other. Listen for the white noise cues to play uneven brush sweep on cymbals.
- S5: Both parts will speed up significantly. When the tempo becomes too fast, freely improvise with great energy. Increase the use of cymbals throughout the section.
- S6: Both Perc1 and Perc2 plays energetic cymbal improvisation while slowing down. Accompany the tape part after the click track stops. At the end of the tape part (7:00), create a quiet windy sound by swinging the brush in the air.
Control Click is a piece for a site with multiple computers, such as computer lab or a game room. With a simple installation of a freeware, a typical computer lab will turn into a multichannel audio-visual instrument playing algorithmically generated parts. The piece has two subsections: the first section is an ambient soundscape to be played while the audience gathers in the site. Once enough audience is gathered in the lab, the main section will start. The main section is about 12 minutes long, and it sounds like a dream sequence at an arcade.
- A computer lab is the easiest place to realize this piece, but any spaces that can host multiple computers would work
- The current version works best with 8 to17 computers
- 8 to16 computers are Performers. See instructions in Performer.scd file for hardware/software setup instructions.
- 1 computer is Conductor. See instructions in Conductor-8Macs.scd or Conductor-16Macs.scd for hardware/software setup instructions.
- A free audio program called SuperCollider needs to be installed on all computers. Download the current version from http://supercollider.github.io/download.html
3. Control Click files for SuperCollider
- If you don’t have it already, download them at www.joowonpark.net/controlclick
4. Computer Setup and Maintenance
- All iMacs should not go to sleep mode or turn on screen saver
- All iMacs should use their internal speakers
- All iMacs often play the sound at its maximum volume
- The technician or the installation manager should have an admin access to adjust the network setup
- The piece runs in automation mode once the technician setups and runs the Conductor and Performer files at the beginning of the installation
- If you need a version for a different number of computers, please feel free to contact me.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
This piece is a praise on things and events that are beyond my comprehension and control. Effect of subtle sonic changes on my mind, body, and soul is an example of such things.
Hardware Setup and Instruments
- One vibraphone with a working motor
- Soft mallets and a bow
- A computer with SuperCollider : Setup the computer near the vibraphone so that you may see the screen. A Macintosh is preferred but not necessary. The SuperCollider application can be downloaded for free at www.audiosynth.com
- Hallelujah.scd file: The file can be downloaded from here
- One audio interface and one microphone : Connect a condenser microphone into the input 1 of the interface. Connect the interface to the computer. Alternatively, you can use a USB microphone and no interface.
- A sound reinforcement system: connect the stereo output of the interface to the speaker(s). The speakers should be located in close distance to the vibraphone. Putting the speaker right behind the performer should work in small-medium sized venue.
- Volume : The overall volume of the piece should not be loud. The computer part should be just loud enough to hear the pulsing between the vibraphone and the sine tone parts.
- Pedal : Pedal is always on. Muffle notes with the mallet on mm 51 (notated with ‘x’ ).
- Motor : Set to slow. Motor is on from mm 53 to 79.
- Bowing : There are three notes in the vibraphone part that needs to be bowed (mm 65, 74, and 76).
- Pedal : Setup the vibraphone so that the pedal is always on.
- Count-In : Measure 1 starts after four beats of count in. Refer to the Visual Click Track window on the computer screen. The performer may interpret the timing of the notes.
- Notation of Computer Part : The computer part has three odd-shaped note heads. The rectangle represents a sine tone that changes its frequency when a vibraphone notes are played. The triangle represents a wobbly tone with rhythmic variation. And the diamond represents a note with rich overtones. All computer parts are long and gradual. You may start to notice the computer part about a measure or two after they are triggered at the notated measures. For example. the rectangular note in measure 5 will start to have a audible volume at around measure 6.
How to Run the Computer Part
- Make sure that your audio interface is set as the default input and output device for the computer.
- Open Haellelujah.scd file in SuperCollider
- Go to Menu and select Language->Evaluate File.
- Measure 1 starts after four beats count in.
- Press command+period (.) or select Language->Stop to stop the computer part
- Repeat steps 2-5 for rehearsal and practice.
I taught two introductory classes about electroacoustic music in Fall 2015. One of the assignments in these classes is a weekly listening report on selected music. Can you guess the topics discussed in each week by looking at the listening list?
Autumn Signal (1978) by Joan La Barbara : Identify signal processing techniques that extends the singer’s acoustic limits
Klang (1982) by Jonty Harrison : What is the computer’s role in creating harmonic language and form of the piece?
Out of Breath (2000) by Paul Koonce : What can you listen and identify besides “two” flute notes?
Kits Beach Soundwalk (1986) by Hildegard Westerkamp : How were the studio techniques used to narrate the story in this piece?
Read & Summarize Section 1 (pg 1-7) of Sound Reinforcement Handbook by Davis and Jones
Read pg 9-10 of Living Electronic Music about WSP and Kits Beach Soundwalk
Read Soundscape and Truth section (p120-124) of the same book
Gainesville Soundscape (2007) by Joo Won Park : There is no need to write a summary on your teacher’s piece, but have a listen.
Appalachian Grove I (1977) by Laurie Spiegel : Could this piece have been played by non-electronic ensemble (i.e. orchestra)? Why or why not?
Two-Part Invention in F Minor (1977) by Wendy Carlos : discuss the historical/social significance of this piece.
Compare and contrast Bye Bye Butterfly (1965) by Pauline Oliveros and Silver Apples of the Moon (1967) by Morton Subotnick. Do a little research on the instrumentation and their usage.
Crystal (1982) by Maggi Payne : This piece may appear to have no conventional sense of rhythm. What should we listen for, then?
1971 Arp 2600 by Benge (2007) : The artist uses the same synthesizer we have in the Studio 4. Discuss how envelopes, filters, and oscillators were used in this piece.
Apparitions (2004) by Ed Martin : How effective was the notations of electronic parts in this piece?
O Superman (1982) by Laurie Anderson : If you were to perform this piece on stage, how will your setup look like?
Listening/Reading Report I is due
Cubicle (2007) by Paul Riker : Discuss the form of this piece.
Three Fictions (Northern Mix) (2000) by Natasha Barrett : The composer states that “each movement presents a brief glimpse of a sight, a sound, a sensation.” Do you agree?
Requiem (1973) by Michel Chion : The piece was recorded/edited/processed in magnetic tape. Listen to the entire album. Write a response on techniques (you may need to do some research) and aesthetics.
Maa (Earth) I. Journey (1991) by Kaija Saariaho : Discuss the transitions from one section to another.
Grains of Voices (1995) by Ake Parmerud : Describe how the sense of time and place was composed and manipulated in this piece.
The following pieces use sound materials quite different from what we have heard so far in the class. Describe how the two pieces use such sounds to create music (or not).
10’00 (2006) by Shibuya, Moslang, Nakamura
Time…dot (2002) by Carsten Nicolai & Alva Noto
Read one audio/electronic music magazine available the public lab. Write a summary on the magazine itself or an article.
Compare and contrast the following two pieces. Discuss the artistic usage of time and place.
sparrows in supermarkets (2011) by Paula Matthusen
Petite Musique Sentimentale (1984) by Yves Daoust
Submit the listening/reading report BEFORE the reading period begins.