S C O T T E R I C P E T E R S E N

Composer, electronic musician, improviser

Aural Assault?!?

Hello all!  Many apologies for my long absence – life happend between February and now and it sort of kicked my butt a little.  By way of an apology, I would like to offer you a link to a new project I am doing: 375 Aural Assaults!

You can check out the page for the “what the h*$# is this?!?” question and enjoy the sonorous splenfdiforousness while you are there.  I will be adding sounds to this site as often as I can.  After all, what else am I going to do?..  (<– trick question)

375 Aural Assaults! 

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Filed under: Code, SC3 - Code - Music - More, , , , , , , , , ,

INI Workshop Prototype Instruments pt. 2

INI Prototype Instruments Pt. 2

INI Prototype Instruments Pt. 2

These are the last of the prototype instruments I designed for the INI instrument workshop which took place last Thursday at Artspace New Haven.  If you go to ininewhaven.com you can see some pictures and video from the event.  Turnout was great and everyone had a swell time making things to make noise.  We plan to give a series of instrument making workshops at MakeHaven (makehaven.org) in the new year so stay tuned.  We envision a 2-part workshop where we would make contact mics in part 1 and then make instruments in part 2.

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Filed under: El MuCo, Music, Tutorial / How-to, , , , , ,

Gearing Up

In anticipation of our upcoming performances March 12th and March 20th, we (MuCo) improvised a set tonight using our new patented MuCo Flouper® and recorded the sonic joy that resulted. Here, for your enjoyment, is the 35 minutes that occurred AS it occurred, recorded in Hi-Def audio and reproduced for you in stunning stereo!

Filed under: El MuCo, SC3 - Code - Music - More, , , , , , , , , , ,

Lost Voices of Blasphemous Friends

In 2006 I both completed recording for, and abandoned, a sound installation for 8 speakers.  The work, originally titled Voices of Blasphemous Friends was intended for installation at a festival to which I was never invited.  I recently stumbled upon the recordings, mostly in a state of discombobulation, and the 5 movements/excerpts I used to submit to the festival.  Perhaps it is the magic of the passing of time, perhaps it was hearing the voices of far away friends, but I was immediately drawn to these recordings.  I here present them unedited and in the state in which I left them 4 years ago.  I will now refer to the work collectively as the Lost Voices of Blasphemous Friends (for obvious reasons.)

To create the piece, I tricked eight friends into writing two questions to me via email under the assumption that at some point that year I would invite them up to Rochester (where I was living at the time) to record them asking me the questions.  I then collected the questions they sent me and put them all together, compiling a list of 18 questions (including two of my own) and a few monologues I asked select people to write.  When the “interviewer” showed up to quiz me, I informed them that in reality they would be the ones answering the questions, and that there were not two, but 18 questions, and that additionally they would be required to sing, hum, and perform other assorted tasks as required by the questions.  After I recorded them answering there own, and other’s questions, I had each one ask me the questions as well.  I did not prepare any answers.

The questions themselves ranged from “Did you have anything to do with the bombing?” to the classy question “who do you think says the word ‘fuck’ the best?”  There is also a question of epic proportion that takes nearly a minute to ask and can be heard below in the piece Question #9.  Originally, the work was to take the form of “a whole and then parts.”  By this I mean that the questions and answers were to be presented unedited, one set per speaker, followed by “movements;” edited portions of the set of whole recordings which would take the form of canons, dance music, and more, using only material from the recordings with no alterations of pitch and duration, nor processing that would mask the original sound.

For much more detail into the philosophical underpinnings of the work I will have to dig (provided something good doesn’t come on the TV.)  Until then, please have a listen to the short pieces/excerpts below.  I hope you will enjoy them.

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Lost Voices of Blasphemous Friends

excerpt of 1+ hour of questions sounding simultaneously, spatialized here to imitate 8 speakers in a rectangular arrangement

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Baboons

monologue written and read by Marc Bollmann

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Question #9

question written by Solomon Guhl-Miller, asked by Scott Petersen (8 different times)

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Giselle

monologue written and read by Matt Barber

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Breakdown : or I am the Destructicon

voices, beat-boxing, and knee-slapping by Ethan Borshansky, Gabriela Ponce, Scott Petersen, other

Filed under: Music, Phase 1, , , , , , ,

Stockhausen: Étude (musique concrète) 1952

I recently ran across this piece which I had not previously heard. It is the first piece of musique concrète by Stockhausen composed in 1952-53 at the RTF in Paris.

A quote about the work by Stockhausen from an online source:**

“First I recorded six sounds of variously prepared low piano strings struck with an iron beater, using a tape speed of 76.2 centimetres per second. After that, I copied each sound many times and, with scissors, cut off the attack of each sound. A few centimetres of the continuation [steady state], which was – briefly – quite steady dynamically, were used. Several of these pieces were spliced together to form a tape loop, which was then transposed to certain pitches using a transposition machine. A few minutes of each transposition were then recorded on separate tapes.

I was only allowed to have the studio with a technician for a few hours each week.Therefore, I hammered a nail into my desktop at the student hostel, laid a metal tape hub on the nail, fastened a ruler horizontally onto the desk in front of me, and placed a series of hubs with modulated tapes and one hub with leader tape next to each other at the rear of the desk. Then I cut many short pieces from a roll of white splicing tape and stuck them next to each other on the edge of the desk.

I then chose, according to my score, one of the tapes having a certain sound transposition, measured the notated length in centimetres and millimetres, cut off that length, spliced it with a little piece of the splicing tape onto a lengthy piece of white leader tape, and wound the white tape plus the first little piece of magnetic tape around the metal hub on the nail. For this I used a pencil which was inserted into the outer hole of the hub.

Next, I chose another prepared tape, measured and cut off a piece, and spliced it onto the previous piece. Whenever the score prescribed a pause, I spliced a corresponding length of white tape onto the result tape. Occasionally, my winding apparatus did not function, and tape salad was the result: I then crawled around on the floor under my desk searching for one end of the fallen tape. Once found, the confusion of the entangled tape was unravelled with great difficulty, and it was wound around the hub again.

When my studio time came, I synchronized two of my spliced tapes using two play-back tape recorders, recorded the sum on a third tape recorder and copied this result again – depending on the polyphony desired – on top of a further zebra-tape of bits of brown tape and little pieces of white pause. Already upon hearing two synchronized layers, and even more so hearing three or four layers, I became increasingly pale and helpless: I had imagined something completely different!

On the following day, the sorcery undespairingly continued: I changed my series, chose other sequences, cut other lengths, spliced different progressions, and hoped afresh for a miracle in sound.”

From another source quoting Stockhausen:**

“I can no longer recall exactly how many weeks I carried on this cutting and splicing, with ever-increasing perfection of my winding-skill. Anyway – on this CD released in 1992 – the world can now hear my Concrète ETUDE of 1952, which for many years I had presumed lost until I finally found it again in a pile of old tapes.”

While hyperbole and useless, flowery, and overtly descriptive language often accompanies any description of this piece online, I feel it is both important and necessary to describe it as awesome.  I wonder if the score is laying around in a pile somewhere… I sure would like to see it!

**all quotes from the sources above were taken from: Karlheinz Stockhausen, Compact Disk Number Three; Electronic Music 1952-1960, from the complete edition (Stockhausen Verlag), accompanying booklet.

Filed under: Miscellany, Phase 1, , , , , , ,

Recommended for Advanced Listeners Only

Some goodies inspired by (and some taken from) Delton T. Horn’s book titled “The Beginner’s Book of Electronic Music.

While the book is an excellent resource as a “hole”, there are some particularly great passages such as that on musique concrete and the Discography at the end (from whence comes the warning issued in the title of this post.

The hilarity aside, the book has a ton of really great analog circuit designs including parts lists (which need to be updated… future post) for voltage controlled oscillators, filters of many types, amplifiers, and more. The book can be picked up online at the link posted above. The book (published in 1982) also has a bunch of great reviews of then current and older synthesizers, including a modular Moog, the Korg VC-10 vocoder, the Prophet 5 and 10 series sythns, and more.

Filed under: El MuCo, Miscellany, , ,

G O I N G S O N : L O C A L (ISH)

fritz Art of Fritz Horstman
kane Music of Brian Kane
fritz Hartford Phase Shift
fritz Hartford Sound Alliance
Lique Art of Philip Lique
Lique Music of Matt Sargeant
strycharz Art of Heather Strycharz
uncertainty Uncertainty Music Series

My Other Awesome Sites [•_•]

Assault! 375 Aural Assaults!
About me! About me!
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My (soon-to-be) Company! My (soon-to-be) Company!

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Handmade instruments by Scott Petersen and Brian Kane at Artspace New Haven