Resolution #3: Southeast Kansas

Premiered at the “Spring in Havana – Eighth International Festival of Electroacoustic Music” in Havana, Cuba on March 9, 2000.

My series of compositions called “Resolutions” began informally in 1985 when I first used a portable four-track cassette recorder (Fostex X-15) to record several field sounds and musical improvisations and mixed them into a complete abstract composition. This used sounds in and around my childhood home in Greenville, North Carolina. The second Resolution utilized a single synthesizer (Korg M-1) and the sounds of children on a playground outside the window of my Ann Arbor, Michigan apartment on a single Autumn day in 1991.
Resolution #3 is the most ambitious of the three. In keeping with the spirit of the earlier works, it fulfills the many definitions of the word, resolution: “the act of answering: solving,” “the process…of making distinguishable the individual parts of an object,” and other variations on “working out” or “determining” an answer—such as an answer to the questions posed by my immediate surroundings and situation. These works are snapshots of my surroundings, developed, as a photo, through creative—and usually spontaneous—reorganization.
I used a wide variety of sounds; sometimes manipulated via pitch-shifting, backwards playback, and other traditional tape techniques (though this is a purely digitally-recorded and edited work), and sometimes left to stand alone. The sounds are: a Moog modular synthesizer; the reverb chamber of a Fender guitar amplifier; a free software synthesizer; micro-samples from commercially available recordings by bluegrass, jazz, heavy metal, medieval and modern art music composers; improvisations on Fisk pipe organ Opus 106 (which can also be heard on my “Adventures of Freddy” CD), piano, clarinet (by Maureen Hurd), and percussion; my 1982 Chevy van’s windshield wipers and engine; trains, train horns, and crossing signals; dog, bird, cricket, and aquarium sounds from local pet stores and the Humane Society; a college band in rehearsal; indigenous African xylophone music; a rugby game; and some workers loading metal rebar onto the back of a truck.
Resolution #3 was recorded in and around Pittsburg, Kansas and mixed during January-April, 1999 in Hossmosis (my personal studio) using Pro Tools® software, a Tascam DA-P1 portable DAT recorder, a home stereo system, and a single microphone (Shure SM-58).

Stereo digital musique concrète