On December 16, I announced my plan to listen and briefly record my responses to the music of the composers who follow me on Twitter. This post is the twenty-second installment of what I call, “Mapping My Musical Twitterverse”, and features composers Ian Dicke, David Dies, Hayes Biggs, Stace Constantinou, and Peter Van Zandt Lane.
Ian Dicke is a composer based in Riverside, CA. From Ian’s SoundCloud page, I listened to Flash Mob, for wind ensemble, White Parasol, for solo piano, and Assembly Lines, for orchestra.
Flash Mob and Assembly Lines differ markedly from White Parasol in that they are more groove-based and driven by melody than the work for piano. As the title suggests, Assembly Lines is consistently motoric, while Flash Mob occasionally ducks away from its rhythmic center for more lyrical material. White Parasol is distinctly atmospheric among these pieces, and features an recurring chord progression around which the work centers.
David Dies is a composer based in Minnesota. From David’s website, I listened to excerpts of Tinnitus, for flute, viola, and violin, Lorca Songs, for soprano and cello, and Sketches for string orchestra.
The proffered segments of these works were concise but telling, and, all together, suggest a wide expressive range in David’s Music. For example, Tinnitus is decidedly more abstract than the other two works, focusing more on timbre and harmony than the others, which are based in melodic ideas. While Sketches appears dedicated to intense, pseudo-romantic lyricism, the Lorca Songs seem to be more varied and coloristic.
Hayes Biggs is a composer based in New York, NY. From Hayes’ website, I listened to an excerpt of The Caged Skylark, for choir, and from Hayes’ SoundCloud page I listened to O magnum mysterium, for choir, and Prelude and Freund’s Fuguing Tune in E (noch nach einmal Bach), for solo piano.
These works of Hayes’ showcase an evocative harmonic language that toys with the familiar syntax and sounds of tonality. This quality is imbedded in the premise of Freund’s Fuguing Tune, but also appears in the two choral works, of which O magnum mysterium is the most sensuous.
Stace Constantinou is a composer of, “spectralmicrotonalism,” based in London. From Stace’s BandCamp page, I listened to parts of the album The Lost Body Of Nothing II.
This work is a collection of four nineteen-minute tracks, each a reflection of the previous. I found myself lost in the process of short- and long-term comparisons as I listened to this music: sonic clouds condense and evaporate, shifting, as these emerge and disappear, the breadth of the frequency spectrum represented to the listener. Each movement expresses this basic process, but the sounds’ presence and fidelity weaken over time.
Peter Van Zandt Lane:
Peter Van Zandt Lane is a composer based in Boston. From Peter’s website, I listened to Slant Apparatus, for chamber orchestra, Poa Pratensis, for electric guitar and chamber ensemble, and Transverse Fractures, for flute and piano.
These pieces differ insofar as Slant Apparatus is more structurally straightforward than the other two works. While Poa Pratensis and Transverse Fractures certainly have clear forms, they rollick and careen more than the chamber orchestra work. Perhaps in light of this, the final minute or so of Slant Apparatus is very surprising, and seems to appear, satisfyingly, from nowhere else in the piece.