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Composers Welcoming Electronics Challenge

October 16, 1987|CHRIS PASLES | Times Staff Writer

Not every composer today is scared off by modern technology. Members of the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music, for instance, are dedicated to it.

In their works, these composers bring together everyday orchestral instruments and sophisticated electronic gadgetry.

"The technology gives new meaning and possibilities to classical music," says composer Andrew Rodell, coordinator for a concert by seven members of the Los Angeles chapter of the society at 8 tonight at Chapman College in Orange.

Rodell says the goals of SEAMUS are to encourage the composition and performance of electro-acoustic music and to develop a network of technical information and support for the composers.

"It expands the possibilities of sound creation and the use of time. (Prerecorded) tape, for instance, can do things that live performers can't do. But live performers can interact with the tape for greater possibilities."

Some of the works on the program have to use a prerecorded tape because "they are so sophisticated that live performance wouldn't even be feasible," he says.

Still, Rodell does not believe that the new sound combinations will put off an interested, sympathetic listener: "The attributes I use in my music are very classical in nature. I've just realized them in a new way. So my work is very accessible and quite understandable."

Rodell's work is titled "Nosebleed" and is scored for string trio and tape.

"The work lasts 12 minutes and is in the key of F major," he says. "It's indebted to Bach and Debussy. The true structural lines and counterpoint come right from Bach. . . . The colorations are from Debussy."

Other works on the program include:

--William Kraft's "Soliloquy," a 10-minute piece for for solo percussion and tape.

--Samuel Magrill's "Flutations," for flute and tape, lasting approximately 10 minutes.

--Matthew Easton's "The Name of the Thing or the Thing Itself," a 12-minute work for piano, trombone, percussion and tape.

--David Dunn's "Sonic Mirror: Simulation I," a 15-minute work for tape, utilizing environmental sounds.

--Wayne Perkins' "Inner-Workings," a three-minute piece for electronic tape.

Rodell says "Nosebleed" typifies the philosophy behind combining electronic and acoustic instruments and live and prerecorded music by allowing him "to bring control and clarity out of chaos and to find the similar in the dissimilar."

"The taped part is very dissimilar from what the instruments do. So the interaction with the tape is very important."

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