Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Never Fantasy". For Echo Cornet. A Fanfare

"Total Fantasy". A Fanfare (V) for Echo Cornet

New Music Composers and the 'Bounce'

As many have witnessed, often, a new music composer's career is rarely made on one composition, rather it’s the long and slow accrual of published scores, performances, recordings, activities, community service, and so forth that firmly establish one’s reputation. 

And yet, we now live in a moment of the bounce, where Google Alerts are triggered at the mere mention of a composer's name or work, or tweets can ricochet information about a performance to thousands of followers in an instant. 

It’s certainly gratifying for composers — often working alone — to know minute-to-minute that someone out there is engaging with the work. 

And it can be addictive.

In the new information landscape, it’s the re- gestures (the retweet, the reblog) that seem to carry the most weight.  For example, the popular blog Boing Boing doesn’t create anything: they simply point at cool things. And the gesture of Boing Boing pointing at something always trumps the thing at which they are pointing, making us aware that the new power-base is in the filtering, distribution and management of information, not in the original creation of it. 
For example, If I tweet something that I know takes a long time to digest — say, a lengthy experimental abstract composition score — a minute later, I find that it’s been retweeted by dozens of people. Now while many may be familiar with that work, most aren’t. And most haven’t even engaged with it. But rather, it’s the name-check and the cool-factor of the information combined with the passion for sharing it, which creates a bounce. 
The citation, the act of moving that information, has more cache than the object to which its referring.
All of this is to point out the new quandary that composers — whose notions of composing  and performance were forged in the age of the slow roll — face in the age of the bounce. To construct a career as a composer based on the ephemerality of the meme is at once thrilling and terrifying. 
Embracing it is like jumping off a cliff and freefalling, throwing away the script that we’ve come to know so well. Yet it seems inevitable; it’s clearly the next move; it will happen. The question is how it will happen and how much human intervention will be necessary to successfully sustain it as a viable compositional practice. 
I think you’d be hard-pressed to find a composer who doesn’t have their eye on the bigger picture; I can’t name a composer — even the most radical and “uncreative” — who would choose the model of a bouncy meme over the slow roll of music history. 
But that too will soon be changing.

"Windless Hall". The Tactile Score. For One or Two Percussionists.



Recording on Laboratorie New Music label, Premiere Recording: Darmstadt, 2012


The performer may choose up to fourteen separate percussion instruments to use throughout the performance. Whatever number of instruments the performer chooses, he/she must engage all instruments throughout the performance with frequency of use determined by the performer. It would therefore be feasible that an instrument be stricken but once (and potentially imperceptibly inaudible).

The performer may arrange the boxes in any manner seen fit. They may remain inside the large box or removed from the large box and placed at the discretion of the performer. A box may be turned, flipped or relocated at any time during the performance.

The materials represent consistencies to be aspired to during the piece. In the colophon, each material is defined and while the performer will create their own personal syntacticon based on these performance notes (found in the colophon), the tactile representation of the materials as they appear and reappear should remain consistent. Here the boxes and imagery profusely expand the vocabulary nurtured by symbolic masks, autobiographical events, and references to painting styles and spontaneous thoughts.

An innate inclination toward the geometric as is the overwhelmingly panoramic surface of the small scale painting found as hidden gems in the small reliefs.

A 'Counter-Notational Tablature'

"Le Plein" for Bassoon and Flute Circos Tablature "Rules On: Rules Off"

"Le Plein"

for Bassoon and Flute

Circos Tablature

"Rules On: Rules Off"

Bil Smith Composer

Infinito Nero. Salvatore Sciarrino. The Complete Score and Video Performance

Infinito Nero.  The Complete Score

Salvatore Sciarrino

Performance on You Tube by Sonor New Music Ensemble

Click Here For The Score

"Compositional Surrogates: Translating a Theoretical Treatise"

“A Series of Storms” Bil Smith Composer (2012-2013)

"Compositional Surrogates: Translating a Theoretical Treatise"

SCORE: “A Series of Storms” Bil Smith Composer (2012-2013)

For Benedikt Eppelsheim Contrabass Saxophone (conversely Contrabass Clarinet); Tambourine: Retresium Trumpet in ‘A’; Inderbinen Wood Flugelhorn,: Eva Kingma Contrabass Flute; Celestonite Modified ‘A’ Clarinet with Slide ‘Pirix’ designed by Richard Fulbright; Angh, and Maser 2 Snare Drum.

In this work ("Series of Storms"), translating this theoretical treatise under this very broad definition; systems like Morse code, Ventisma, Fortola Codex, flag semaphore, secret speech, and other types of signals that share little in common could also be included. Tristan Murail has used the term “talking musical instruments,” which provides a clearer set of fundamental boundaries.

Even this term highlights a significant cultural bias. For many of the cultures studied under this lens, speech and music are not so easily partitioned.

In this work, “A Series of Storms”, I attempt to articulate the theatrical ambivalence towards these theorems, yet with great respect, illustrate a ritualistic musical tablature which has been buried.

In the words of Elliot Fereder, speech surrogates are the “conversion of human speech into equivalent sounds for transmission in vestigial systems”. 

He goes on to define percussive and whistle languages as well as surrogates played on other musical instruments.

The term “drum and whistle languages” has been used by several authors when describing systems that are neither drummed nor whistled but rather played on musical instruments. 

In this work, the customized Maser 2 Snare Drum, Tambourine and Angh are aligned with this evidentiary platform.

Drum and whistle languages and talking musical instruments share an important feature: the conversion of speech into a musical medium. The signal is based on pitch, rhythm, timbre, and other characteristics shared by speech and music, but it is performed by musical means—drums, whistling, flutes, etc.

Perhaps the best term to describe these related phenomena is “musical speech surrogates,” which has been used by Jeremy Blaise and Todd Reese among others.

When Music Disappears... {La musique d'un certain terme}

'intuniv" for String Quartet and Chimes.  Recording on LNM (CD).  Formerly found on SoundCloud.  Recorded November 6, 2014 at Oktaven Recording Studios, NYC.

When music disappears... because the composer insists.  

Four works, Four recordings.

"Telephasio: Upside The Fandom" for Mezzo-Soprano, Bass Recorder, Valve Trombone, Viola I, Viola II, and Piano.  RECORDING on LNM (CD).  Formerly on SoundCloud.  Recorded October 15, 2014 at 25th Street Recording Studios, Oakland, CA.  DESTROYED.
This project was uniquely personal and I elected to photograph those people closest to me to friends, colleagues, including my beautiful wife (lying on her side with her favorite winter wool cap returning from a work out).

I placed certain constraints and requirements as to precisely what medium each recording was to be presented on and how long each work should be available.

"Impact Tilting - Clumps of Dried Air Weed Spinning Against Its Terminal Pier and Covered with Gnomic Meaningless Graffiti" Bil Smith Composer; 1998 and 2013. 1.0 and 2.0. Commissioned in 1999 by Bell Atlantic.  Recorded on August 29, 2014 at The Parlor, NY, NY.  Recording on LNM Label (CD).

At first, it's there...on SoundCloud, on iTunes, on Amazon, on physical CD's  (even at select Starbuck's) and then it leaves us.

Some hear it...   Most never will.

In the case of these first four musical recordings, a total of 17 people heard them.  They were from Denton, TX, USA;  Nyasvizh, Belarus;  Antsirabe, Madagascar;  Hoboken, NJ, USA;   Kopenick, Germany....etc.

Yes, there are scores.  But no one will hear them again.  (Hear...not see:  that decision has not been made as of this writing)

It is a privilege as a composer, we control.  

"Contingent Archipelago" for Woodwind Quintet and Piano.  Recorded at Evolution Recording Studios, Oxford, England on November 20, 2014.  Recording released on LNM Music.  Formerly found on SoundCloud.

In composition class, of which I foster confrontational views, this action was coined as "narcissistic, vain, self contained, binary and crazed."

Students, then in an attempt to brand the concept (a.k.a 'New Complexity) of 'musical elimination' cited the general disdain of composers to be lumped into any group and with that consensus, moved to create a nomenclature; a moniker.  And a representative selection...

Destructural Narratology

Decontextualized Sonification


Blocked Discourse: (a polysyllogism)

Socratic Fallacy

Utopian Gestalt


Maybe I should find careers for them in the name development business.

- Bil Smith Composer

Sunday, September 25, 2016

New Directions For Clarinet. A Guide For Performers and Composers

New Directions For Clarinet.  A Guide For Performers and Composers

Revised Edition.

Phillip Rehfeldt

A Precriptive Indication.'Lanatrixa' A New Composition and Recording on Laboratorie New Music Label

"Lanatrixa" Bil Smith Composer:   
Indicated for Treatment of Musical Performers with Myelofibrosis.
Lanatrixa is indicated for treatment of musicians with intermediate or high-risk myelofibrosis, including primary myelofibrosis, post-polycythemia vera myelofibrosis and post-essential thrombocythemia myelofibrosis.

Dosage and Administration:The starting dose of a Lanatrixa/Jakafi combination therapy is 5 mg twice daily for patients with a platelet count between 50 × 109/L and less than 100 × 109/L.

Monitor complete blood counts every 2 to 4 weeks until doses are stabilized, and then as clinically indicated. Modify or interrupt dosing for thrombocytopenia.

Increase dose based on response and as recommended to a maximum of 25 mg twice daily for patients with starting platelet counts 100× 109/L or greater and to a maximum of 10 mg twice daily for patients with starting platelet count between 50 × 109/L and less than 100 × 109/L. Discontinue after 6 months if no spleen reduction or symptom improvement.

Dosage Forms and Strengths

Tablets: 5 mg, 10 mg, 15 mg, 20 mg and 25 mg.



Warnings and Precautions

Thrombocytopenia, Anemia and Neutropenia: Manage by dose reduction, or interruption, or transfusion.

Risk of Infection: Assess patients for signs and symptoms of infection and initiate appropriate treatment promptly. Serious infections should have resolved before starting therapy with Lanatrixa

Adverse Reactions.

The most common hematologic adverse reactions (incidence >20%) are thrombocytopenia and anemia. The most common non-hematologic adverse reactions (incidence >10%) are bruising, dizziness and headache.

The starting dose of Lanatrixa is 20 mg given orally twice daily for patients with a platelet count greater than 200 × 109/L, and 15 mg twice daily for patients with a platelet count between 100 × 109/L and 200 × 109/L.

The Vocal Flute. Creative Uses of the Flutist's Voice in a Collaborative Context

The Vocal Flute. 

Creative Uses of the Flutist's Voice in a Collaborative Context

By Marina Pereira Cyrino

'Illumbra' for Pique Angulated (Exemplum) Lyric Soprano

"Illumbra"...One word.  One text.  One Lyric.  To be interpreted and re-interpreted utilizing lexical semantics, orthological deduction and phonological interpretation;  while improvisatory, the method of realization also gives way to a refined chaos.

January 14, 2015.  Ellen Gyoni, Soprano performed this work for 71 minutes and 17 seconds. She interjected a phonetic juxtaposition at the end of the performance articulating the word "pal, pal, pal sara drone."

Saturday, September 24, 2016

The String Project for the CMOP Led by Renee Baker. A December, 2016 Project and Performance

This is the foundation of a new project which will consist of an all string music performance of my compositions by the esteemed member of the AACM, Renee Baker to debut in December, 2016.

"Recollectionist" for B Flat Trumpet .

There's this word... 'Phenom'.  Just like the Williams sisters, performers can be 'Phenoms.'
Yes, I do purposely write music that may be unplayable and uninterpretable for the same reason Cage wrote the Freeman Etudes (Yes, he did, although in the back of his mind, he always hoped).
Today...all morning and afternoon in a rehearsal space on Charles Street in the West Village (NY).
Today, Jason Columba. Student of the Trumpet. 

We will record this on Monday (The Second Recording) as I planned the realization of this piece to take months to accomplish. 
It is exhilarating to find brilliant interpreters of your compositional efforts that live and breathe the work. Passionate and so entrenched/entranced by the prospect to be the first to accomplish what others can not do.
It's a complete event and a complete day. I'm going to find some wine now.
"Recollectionist" for B Flat Trumpet . Thanks to Fox, Vivendi, and Black Rock for the opportunity to make this a realization.

Friday, September 23, 2016

"Oboe Liquidium" The Score

"Scant". For Tuba.

Plenary Guidance for Violin

Plenary Guidance for Violin

The "Event" Score. “False in the Sense of Coexistent or Alternate” Bil Smith Composer.

“False in the Sense of Coexistent or Alternate” Bil Smith Composer A Word Event Score for One Performer, acting in a dual role as a Violin/Viola Practitioner and Neologist 

A New Event Score with Leo Chinasky (Violin/Viola) performing (for a long time). 

This was a very fortunate opportunity and I sincerely thank Citi for their kind assistance and support for Leo and the commitment to the recording which will appear on the Laboratorie New Music label when completed.