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1. If you could be an active composer in any other time period, when and why?
I would be a composer 100 years from now. Technology, baby, technology!
2. Dog, cat, or goldfish?
none of the above
3. Would you rather…be psychokinetic or be telepathic?
telepathic - then I could walk around singing Alan Parsons Project's "I can read your mind" and I'd be telling the truth...
Billy Idol "Eyes without a Face"
5. Who are 3 composers from the past -AND- 3 of your own generation whose music you respect, enjoy, inspires you, etc…
Past: J.S.Bach, Gustav Mahler, Toru Takemitsu
Present: João Pedro Oliveira, Adrian Moore, Gilles Gobeil
Among Fireflies (2010) for flute and live, interactive electronics
Elainie electronics are so good…They often are so intricate and clean that they sound as if they are fixed media. But, they aren’t. I am always in awe of her programming abilities. Her pieces always have a drive and direction where some other composers tend to wander in their instrument and computer pieces allowing the electronics to take center stage over the performer. Through listening to this piece, especially with headphones on, it is reminding me to pay more attention to panning on the live portions in my own instrument and computer pieces. A good lesson for all of us really.
In searching for something critical to say, I guess I’ve never heard a piece of Elainie’s that was abrasive or edgy it terms of its sound. I think she tends towards clean and polished. This really isn’t a criticism. More an observation. I think the opening of this piece is the most “noise” I’ve ever heard from her. And I dig it.
Nostalgic Visions (2009) for piano and live, interactive electronics
I had a piece performed at SEAMUS 2011 in Miami. I loved Elainie’s tape music but had not heard many of her pieces for instrument and electronics. This piece was performed at SEAMUS. I was completely blown away. Nothing on the concert or any of the concerts had as much of an effect on me as this one did. I contacted her, later on while I was at Rice, to get a score and the patch for this part so I could present this piece alongside Mario Davidovsky’s Synchronisms No. 6 for piano and tape. The thing that brings these two very different pieces together for me is the idea of real vs. imaginary sound. In many of Elainie’s pieces there are points where, as a listener, you know what the sound is and how it was produced. And then there is a point of transition to where the sounds are now outside the scope of being realistically produced by a human or by the instrument. It is in that transition point where Elainie’s music lives. The ambiguity of sound produced from the electronics as an extension of the instrument is the brilliance of her work.
The only part of this piece I don’t totally dig is the scraping of the piano’s frame at the beginning of the work and in the middle. Its reemergence in the middle certainly gives more weight to its appearance at the beginning of the work but, there is something about it that doesn’t sit well with me given the sound world of the rest of the piece. The plucked notes inside the piano is a wonderful moment that the electronics highlight so well. The build towards the climax is awesome. Ending=beautiful.