A Lecture

Barton McLean

About this work:

This was a collaboration between myself and Trevor Wishart, English composer living in York. Trevor visited us in Austin in July, 1982, and worked extensively in the UT Electronic Music Center on a work using his daughter’s sounds (“Anna’s Magic Gerden”). The collaboration consisted of his reading aloud from a very dull manual on the Emu modular synthesizer 4000 module (the sequencer part). UT had the largest set of Emu modules of anyplace in the world. They never got used much, and I’m sure they hit the trash heap as soon as I left UT. Trevor was a master at vocalizations and experimental vocal techniques. The idea was to have him start out as though he was giving a lecture, and then gradually break down. Toward the end his voice is indistinguishable from the wild electronic background. And so, I took his tape, and later put the synthesizer background with it. I remember that I used the Fairlight Synthesizer, along with our Arp 2600, Serge, and a host of other stuff. As with all my works of this period, the final submaster multitrack recorder was the Scully 8 track 1 inch tape deck, with DBX noise reduction. Final mastering on a Revox H77 half-track 1/2 inch deck. One place, where I wanted to produce a “boing,” the only way I could figure out how to do it was to record the word “boing” on a tape, and then use that as one of the two inputs to a Bode Vocoder, which converted it to the “boing” sound. Trevor had reservations about releasing the work commercially, since he was trying to become “respectable,” and so it never got recorded. Too bad, since I believe it is a very fine work. This was one of many works done in a very short period of time after my tenure battle was lost and I had one more year to go at the university. During 1982 -3 I virtually lived in the computer music studio that I had built, and taught a bare minimum of courses (to the chagrin of my colleagues). This was the most productive explosion of composing ever, since I thought that I might never again have the opportunity of availing myself of this great studio. Little did I know that in a short 6 years, technology and economies of scale would enable us to build in our Petersburg home a far better facility.

Stereo computer-analog work with Trevor Wishart as virtuosic vocalist. Dur. 5’. Premiered at U. of Wisconson, Madison, 1983. Various subsequent performances.

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Version: C & P 1983 Barton McLean
Year composed: 1982
Duration: 00:04:59
Ensemble type: Electronic Instruments and Sound Sources:Prerecorded Sound
MP3  A Lecture

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