DistMod is an audiovisual work for an original digital synthesizer and 18 knobs. The synthesizer was created in SuperCollider by manipulating the waveform shape of the frequency modulator. The synthesizer also has sample-and-hold feature so that the user can smoothly change from a glissando to arpeggio. The piece was written as a demonstration of my electronic music composition class project. The project is called One Sound, and the students are asked to define and create a “single” sound, gesture, or idea.
Here’s the promo writing from the record label describing the album.
Known for his series of YouTube video series entitled ‘100 Strange Sounds’, Joo Won Park returns to NOREMIXES for his second album, Modulationist, which finds the composer incorporating live instrumentation into his bed of electronic disturbances.
On his previous NOREMIXES album, Overundertone, Joo Won Park toned down the raw and often aggressive nature of the ‘100 Strange Sounds’ series into more quirky melodic passages that mixed foundsound with his SuperCollider experiments. With Modulationist, the composer pits live performers against the computer with the entire album arching towards a full-on digital takeover. Percussionist Hunter Brown, joins Park on vibraphone during opener, ‘Hallelujah’, a sparse starting place. Complexity develops with ‘Armor+2’ featuring Giovanni Bertoni on clarinets. ‘Notation for Synth’ provides a playful break from the tension as electronics take center stage. This is followed by ‘JNNJ’ which pits dueling percussion against electronics in the album’s most rhythmically challenging work. ‘Swamps, Showers, and Creatures’ utilizes foundsound and sparse electronics with bursts of oboe, for the last sign of acoustic instrumentation on Modulationist. The electronics takeover, however, fitting closer ‘Modulationist’ shows just how hands-on Park is with his electronics as the composer utilizes no-input mixing for a full on sonic assault on the listener.
Hunter Brown, percussion (Hallelujah /JNNJ) Giovanni Bertoni, clarinets (Armor+2) Louis Pino, percussion (JNNJ) Theodosia Roussos, oboe (Swamps, Showers, and Creatures)
There are three previously-unreleased tracks in this album. Cmin13 and Modulationist are created exclusively for this release. The two tracks are examples of the musical directions I am currently interested in. I also included a stereo “studio” version of Singaporean Crosswalk. It sounds quite different from the live recordings as it has different ways to spatialize the sound.
I think I have an intimate personal story to share in this album.Have a listen!
I love it. I am also very fascinated with this collaboration, because Nicolas found me on Soundcloud, and asked my permission to use the piece on his video. Nicolas and I never met in person, but I think we make a good team!
Sky Blue Waves is a track in Overundertone released by NOREMIXES.
Singaporean Crosswalk was inspired by my trip to Singapore in 2010. The sound of the traffic light in the city was quite different from that of the United States and Korea.
It was fun, effective, and musically intriguing. During the day, this sound was a theme song for the people in a metropolis. During the night, the traffic lights became part of a flora and fauna surrounding the city. I thank SPLICE Ensemble for commissioning and premiering this piece. I also thank Oberlin College’s Center for Information and Technology for renting me multiple computers.
Singaporean Crosswalk requires four laptops and four players. It uses the internal speaker and microphone of the laptop, so there is no additional equipment needed. The essence of the piece is in the creation of unique spatialization through physical movement of the laptop players on and off the stage. The recording of the premiere thus does not demonstrate the most interesting part of the piece, but you can at least hear the general atmosphere.
All materials needed to play the piece is uploaded on the top folder of this page. Let me know if you have any questions or need different versions (i.e. for trio, octet, etc).
VERY IMPORTANT: Edit the file path in line #30 of SSS.scd so that the program can properly find SwampsShowers.aif file. If you do not know the file path, you can drag-and-drop the SwampsShowers.aif file to line #30. It will automatically load the file path
Go to SuperCollider->Menu->Language->Evaluate File. You should hear a thunderstorm sound in few seconds
The oboe part is improvised. Imitate nature sounds you hear in the recorded part. There are rains, birds, streams, bugs, and other swamp creatures.
Starting at about 1:30 of the piece, the oboe sound will trigger long tones in the computer part. The oboist should improvise good accompanying notes to the computer- generated tones.
The piece is in d minor.
Generally, play fewer, but meaningful notes and phrases. Silences are essential.