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WEBLOG | Featured Work: indian summer for solo e-cello, harmonizer and stereo playback system by Alvin Lucier. >>
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Featured Work: Petals for solo e-cello and real-time effects by Kaija Saariaho.
Kaija Saariaho's Petals (1988) was originally conceived for acoustic cello and electronics with the composer operating the electronics in performance. The work is compositionally and sonically dynamic and is highly recommended. My recent performance version uses a computer and a MAX/MSP software patch, a digital audio interface connected to the computer, and two MIDI pedals. The pedals eliminate the necessity of having the composer or partner operate the electronics in performance. I am currently testing MIDI processors made by MIDI Solutions, Inc. which allow a volume pedal such as the Yamaha FC-7 to be converted to MIDI. Two pedals can be daisy chained and connected to the MIDI in and out of the digital audio interface. This is a very elegant and powerful set-up and makes travel very light. The real-time electronics are shown just below the cello part in the score. One pedal modulates the reverb mix, and a second the harmonization of a quarter-tone above and below the direct signal. When the two effects are combined in various ways a coloristic, at times thunderous, sound is achieved. An additional MIDI pedal switch can be used to increase the reverb amount two-thirds into the piece and for page turns. A computer in performance eliminates the need for a music stand and awkward page turns if the music is scanned and included in the MAX patch.
The following is an example of a MAX/MSP patch.
Cycling ‘74 MAX/MSP software patches are available from Jeffrey Krieger at firstname.lastname@example.org
Music published by G. Schirmer Inc. www.schirmer.com/
Recorded by oodiscs ACDCVC CD 53 (currently not available)
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