This page contains postings on compositions, performances and press.

A new cadenza for a Mozart concerto

In Tags

Up until recent times, it was common for soloists to improvise or compose new cadenzas. Somehow, with the stratification and separation of roles (composer versus performer, classical player vs. improvisor), this approach has been neglected. Such"tampering" is considered off limits, even sacrilegious.

Yet, the music of the past is not a sacred relic, but a living organism. In that spirit, I've composed a new cadenza for the Mozart G Major violin concerto.

Read More

Work in progress - "NotomotoN Unstrung" for mechanical percussion, mandolin and Radiodrum


Spent four days last weekend working with Andrew Schloss at the Universal Audio studio on a new duo quasi-improvised piece. The focus of the current effort is to combine acoustic sound, both performed directly and remotely via robotic actuators, with electronic processing of that sound. The new work is being presented at the ICIT “New Directions” Symposium at the University of California at Irvine, which is being held between March 1st and March 3rd, 2013.

The piece uses the "NotomotoN," an instrument designed by Ajay Kapur consisting of an Indian two-headed drum with ten remotely-controllable beaters. (The name of this instrument is a palindrome; I am not sure of the correct pronunciation, though I like "no-TOM-o-ton," i.e. rhyming with "automaton."

Read More

100th birthdays

Just completed my contribution to a kind of compositional game of telephone, in honor of John Cage's 100th birthday, in which 100 composers were selected to produce a composition in which each person sees only one measure from the person before him/her. Will be premiered in New York and Leipzig in 2013, also on the web. Info (in German): here.

Speaking of 100th birthdays, just returned from the University of Victoria, where I gave a lecture entitled "Composing, Computing and Creativity." One of several Alan Turing Lectures in honor of the 100th anniversary of his birth, I discussed how and why I create both music and software and how the two are closer to one another than one might suspect. Other lecturers during the two-week celebration included Leslie Valient and Jaron Lanier.

Abstract below:

Jorge Luis Borges envisioned a library of every possible book of a given length and set of characters. The size of this library, while not quite infinite is effectively so, dwarfing the number of atoms in the known universe by eighteen hundred orders of magnitude. The plight of the creative artist is similar: to pick exactly one of these possibilities.

My background is unusual in that I have pursued music composition and computer programming with equal intensity and with a deep conviction as to their fundamental creative nature, drawing inspiration one from the other. These two seemingly different domains share much in common, as both can be modeled by similar paradigms: making something from nothing (additive synthesis), making something from everything (subtractive synthesis), making something from something else (genetic algorithms), etc. Combining these two pursuits has led me to develop a musical approach based on hybridization, abstraction and concretization. It is often said that music composition cannot be taught. A more accurate statement would be that it can be taught only in a personal way, based on detached self-observation, and without any assumption that past behavior predicts future actions. In this talk I examine my wanderings in the labyrinthine Library of Babel.

Working with Trimpin on "The Space Between Us"


Working with Trimpin on turning a set of instruments I inherited from spatial music pioneer Henry Brant into robotic instruments for "The Space Between Us," commissioned by Other Mind, the Irvine Foundation and the Canada Council for the Arts.

The robotic instruments are controlled remotely by a Radiodrum (a 3-D performance controller with six degrees of freedom.) The work includes a set of chimes that surround the audience and are controlled remotely by the radiodrum, as well as remote control xylophone, glockenspiel and piano.