Traces (1991) for flute and computer, interactive 10' [performed by David Eagle, flute]
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Traces is an interactive composition. My aim was to create a performance context that explores a wide range of levels of interaction between the performer and the computer/sampler by developing various roles for the computer. These are:
1) Musical instrument – performed remotely by the flutist through musical gestures and signals and foot-pedal triggers. In this role the computer is amplifying and enhancing the flute.
2) Interpreter – listens to the flute and responds with repetitions and variations of the material heard.
3) Improvising musician – making decisions about musical parameters and creating musical phrases in response to the flute following pre-programmed generative processes.
4) Composer – creating original musical material by enacting a series of algorithms. By analyzing what it is doing, it can then make changes based upon its musical experience as an instrument, interpreter and improviser. In effect, it begins to develop an individual musical personality, with a catalogue of characteristic musical phrases and processes of development. In performance, it can be influenced by interruptions from the flutist, which alter the course of the music.
Within the piece, these four approaches are used interchangeably. The composition was realized in the University of Calgary Electroacoustic Music Studio on a Macintosh Iicx computer using MAX, a graphical MIDI programming environment, and SampleCell, an internal sampler.
Traces has been recorded on emotion David Eagle & Hope Lee, Acoustic/Electroacoustic Works, New Concert Discs, NCD 0294.