summer on cassette : synchronisms on cd

a longterm project throughout the past year has been to learn, perform, and record davidovsky’s fiendishly difficult (but equally enrapturing) synchronisms no. 9. i’ve dabbled in creations of my own electronic and electro-acoustic music, but ultimately, davidovsky does it a whole lot better than i ever will–and really, better than most. it’s quirky and colorful, and has really stood the test of time.

you can hear the end product on my “listen” page OR here:

synchronisms no. 9

here’s a program note (i wrote) from a recent performance:

“The Synchronisms are a series of pieces for instruments and prerecorded sounds,composed during the last three decades. One of the central ideas of these pieces is the search to find ways of embedding both the acoustic and electronic into a single coherent musical and aesthetic space.”
-Mario Davidovsky

I chose to play Synchronisms No. 9 (1988) after hearing a recording of it performed by my current teacher, Curtis Macomber. Conveniently, it turns out he’s a leading expert on the piece. Despite the fact that Davidovsky created the electronic track in the 1980’s without the technological resources we have today, he concocted a truly eloquent sound-world that blends remarkably with the violin line. The electronic track alone sounds somewhat silly, if not extra-terrestrial, but with the violin part, the piece achieves a level of coherence truly rare in electro-acoustic composition. While studying the score vertically was crucial in lining up the violin part with the electronics, ultimately, I had to relinquish rigid rhythm and begin listen to the electronic track like a live performer. Learning to interact with the electronics like a living, breathing musician turned the project, remarkably, into something that felt like a collaboration; I now try to anticipate the nuances of the track as I would those of another instrumentalist. Standing between the two speakers, it is wonderful to feel truly encompassed by the piece. Synchronisms has been a rhythmic and timbral challenge, but well worth the effort.

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i haven’t yet had a chance to play it for the man himself, though he lives only a few blocks away; hopefully he hasn’t heard me practicing.

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