The Game changers #5. Met een portret van componist Jon Christopher Nelson.
Jon Christopher Nelson (b. 1960) is a composer who began working in computer music at the MIT Media Lab in the mid-1980s. His electroacoustic music compositions have been performed widely throughout the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America. He has been honored with numerous awards including fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Fulbright Commission. He is the recipient of Luigi Russolo and Bourges Prizes (including the Euphonies d’Or prize) and recently was recognized as the recipient of the International Computer Music Association’s 2012 Americas Regional Award. In addition to his electro-acoustic works, Nelson has composed a variety of acoustic compositions that have been performed by ensembles such as the New World Symphony, the Memphis Symphony, the Brazos Valley Symphony Orchestra, ALEA III, and others. He has composed in residence at Sweden’s national Electronic Music Studios, the Visby International Composers Center and at IMEB in Bourges, France. His works can be heard on the Bourges, Russolo Pratella, Innova, CDCM, NEUMA, ICMC, and SEAMUS labels. He is currently a Professor at the University of North Texas College of Music.
1/ the rain has a slap and a curve—1997, for stereo tape, 8:24″
For computer-generated tape is based upon excerpts from Robert Gregory’s poem rain, convenience store, hungry cats. The majority of the sonic material is derived from a recording of the poet reading the following three lines of the poem: the rain has a slap and a curve the path it falls on curves also even after the rain you can hear a whisper of rain The composition is divided into three main sections that explore the sonic possibilities of the source material.(1)
2/ Scatter—2000, for 8-channel tape, 8:48″
Commissioned by the 20th Annual New Music and Art Festival at Bowling Green State University. This multi-channel work for tape is based on recordings of sounds that contain an element of motion. The composition explores the use of sound spatialization as a primary formal determinant. Scatter attempts to surround the listener with events from
every direction that move at varying velocities. The work also explores the composers own multi-channel implementation of granular synthesis that “scatters” sonic grains throughout the multi-channel environment.(2)
3/ l’Horloge imaginaire—2002, for 8-channel tape, 10:30″
an 8-channel tape fantasy based upon clock sounds. The source recordings for this work emanate from a wide variety of clocks including the medieval astrological clock in La cathédral St-Etienne in Bourges, musical clocks of the 19th century, church bells, and clocks of the present day. Exhibiting both ethereal and percussive sonic landscapes, this work presents my interpretation of the sounds we associate with the passage of time. This work was commissioned by the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB) and was realized in their studios in Bourges, France.(3)
4/ objet sonore/objet cinétique—2007, for stereo tape, 11:37″
A composition that explores the kinesis/stasis continuum as it relates to sound objects and musical motion. This work exhibits a variety of possible temporal manifestations of sound, navigating the boundaries between motion and rest to create gestures of animation and repose that shape musical structure. I am most grateful to the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB) for commissioning this composition and generously providing the utilization of their studios in Bourges, France for the production of this work. objet sonore/objet cinétique was recently awarded second prize in the CIMESP 2007 international computer music competition.(4)
5/ Turbulent Blue—2009, for stereo tape, 9:25″
A certain degree of turbulence is required to initiate any sound, whether this impetus is a whorl of air, a gush of fluid, a surge of friction, or a sudden impact. As a musical instrument responds to this unstable flow, its physical properties provide feedback that reigns in the chaos, stabilizing the sound into a more periodic tone. Using both sampled materials and physical models of sound, this composition strives to create a surreal sonic world in which the real and imaginary coexist. This work was commissioned by the Institut International de Musique Electroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB) and was realized in their studios in Bourges, France. Initial research for the composition was also made possible through a University of North Texas Research and Creativity Enhancement grant.(5)
6/ Illusory Lines—2015, 8-channel fixed media, 10:48″ (excerpt)
An immersive 8-channel composition that utilizes several significant aural illusions to provide the work’s structural underpinnings. Specifically, the work incorporates both Shepard Tones (endless glissandi) and Risset Rhythms (endless accelerando/ritardando) that are featured prominently in several large sections of the work. The surface of the composition includes physically modeled strings and meshes/plates as well as samples from an accordion, a double bass and bees, exploring the inter-relationships between these seemingly divergent synthetic and concrete sound worlds. Spatialization strategies highlight a variety of structural moments while creating a rich sense of location within space.(6)
(1)recording released in November 1998 on the Centaur label’s Consortium for the Distribution of Computer Music (CDCM) CD Series, Volume 27, “CEMIsonics: The Threshold of Sound,” CRC 2407.
(2)recording released in October 2001 on the American Composers Forum “Sonic Circuits IX” compact disc (Innova 118).
(3)released in 2005 on the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States “Music from SEAMUS 14” compact disc (EAM 2004).
(4)released in 2010 on the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States “Music from SEAMUS 19” compact disc.
(5)released in 2015 on the APEM/CIME (Archiving and Preservation of Electroacoustic Music/Confédération Internationale de Musique Electroacoustique) label for the Miso Music Portugal 2015 Festival CD.
(6) Not yet on CD.