composer | musician | teacher

Manchouli

for violin, percussion, and computer (2021) 6'30"

  • Premiered => Sang Koh - Violin, Kramer Milan - Percussion, Daniel Swilley - Computer, UNI SOM New Music Showcase Concert; 4.20.2021.

Program Notes:

Manchouli (2021), for violin, percussion, and computer takes inspiration from the William Empson poem of the same name. This brief work of Empson’s deals with the state of society and draws on a juxtaposition of images - the beauty of “great frontiers” and Japanese occupied Manchuria’s “crowds in rags.” The final two lines are particularly striking, “I find it normal; So too to extract false comfort from that word.” This notion and the idea of such a realization in thinking is central to Manchouli. What has become normal? Has this become normal? Manchouli is a sonification of the text of the poem – an experiment in mapping text to musical parameters such as pitch, rhythm, and dynamics.

The work is a continuation of the composer’s research into computer-assisted algorithmic composition and electroacoustic music composition. Manchouli was composed with the software Common Music/GRACE and Max. The composition of Manchouli was supported by the University of Northern Iowa College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences Research/Creative Activity Grant 19/20.