About this work:
I have always been interested in the question of how one can integrate elements of various musical traditions into new pieces. No matter what route one takes, the challenge is always to use something from one’s past experience as a point of departure – to integrate the materials so completely, that something new emerges. If a piece fails to do this, it risks becoming no more than a pastiche of stylistic cliches. In recent years, I have made tape pieces that have deliberately revealed and quoted well-known source material. In Left To His Own Devices I built an homage to Milton Babbitt from quotations from recorded interviews and the sound of the RCA synthesizer. In Portrait of the Artist, I drew on the voice and music of John Lennon. When Tim Brady asked me to write a piece for electric guitar and tape, I decided right away to use the beginning of Jimi Hendrix, Purple Haze as the motive of the piece. Most people will recognize this quote immediately, although it is always far more manipulated than one might imagine on first hearing. In addition to the challenge of integrating such an icon of popular culture into something new and convincing, there was the difficulty of bringing sounds of the live performer and the computer generated together in one acoustical space.
Year composed: 1998
Ensemble type: Electronic Instruments and Sound Sources:Prerecorded Sound and Live Instrument(s)
Instrumentation: 1 Electric Guitar, 1 Prerecorded Sound (Tape/CD/Other)