01. Composition for Tape & Soloists * Claire Chomentowski, voice. 1969.
02. Electronic Construction in Glass. 1970.
03. Singing Noise Colors * Linda Kay, voice. 1971
04. Construction: on nix rest… in China * Jim Fulkerson/Hilary Jeffery, trombones. 1972.
05. Rando’s Poetic License * DB-K, voice. 1978.
06. Not Vermont Hardware * David Gunn/Claire Chomentowski/DB-K, voices. 1979.
07. Echo * DB-K, viols. 1986.
08. Meditation on the Llama Sutra *. 1993.
09. For the Invisible. 1994.
10. zéyu. Chris Mann, source voice. 1996.
11. quânh. Chris Mann, source voice. 1996.
12. sweeh. Chris Mann, source voice. 1996.
13. Zonule Glaes II * Styx-Q VIP Positive, string quartet. 1999.
14. bellyloops. Random source voices. 1999.
15. No Money (Lullaby for Bill). Bill Gates, source voice. 1999.
16. RatGeyser * Michael Manion, malletKat. 2000.
17. Snare:Wilding. Random source voices. 2000.
18. Williams A26. Shannon Williams, voice. 2000.
19. iskajtbrz. 2003.
20. The Warbler’s Garden. 2003.
21. nysuca hanei. 2005.
22. Syrenical *. 2005.
23. filouria. 2006.
24. Future Remembrance. 2007.
25. smuttle DB-K, voice. 2008.
26. imanuevilla * Manuela Barile, source voice. 2009.
27. blinded. 2010.
28. Driving My 1948 Limbo. 2010.
29. at 100. 2012.
30. What the Thunder Said *. 2020.
* = excerpt.
Dennis Bathory-Kitsz’s electroacoustic music has always been concerned with original acoustic sources, whether by using human performers or sourcing and transforming and then layering and spatializing the human voice and acoustic instruments in developing an electronic sound library and compositional approach. This hour carries the listener through more than 50 years of the composer’s electroacoustic works, using all of or excerpting from 30 of the composer’s nearly 100 compositions. Because of compromised high-frequency hearing due to his age, Dennis has paused creating electroacoustic music in 2020, giving himself time to re-think how to work in the lower-frequency realm.
Composition for Tape & Soloists (1969) was composed entirely on paper, rendered four years later, with its first and only performance in 1985. A few minutes of its full 16-minute length are heard here, with Claire Chomentowski on the vocal line.
Electronic Construction in Glass (1970) slices off the attack of each struck glass, producing a soft and fleeting effect.
Singing Noise Colors (1971) places a vocal line against various colors of noise, emphasizing their spectra. The first portion of the piece is heard here.
Construction On Nix Rest in China (1972) is an early multichannel sample piece, using two trombones creating a contrast of attitudes with the audio sampled from radio and recordings. It was first performed and recorded by James Fulkerson and Hilary Jeffery in 2003. A two-minute excerpt of the 12-minute work is heard here.
Rando’s Poetic License (1978) uses nascent microcomputer technology to create an interactive soundscape within and around the audience. It was first performed and recorded at the Washington (DC) Project for the Arts in 1978. A third of the work is heard here.
Not Vermont Hardware (1979) is a performance work including computer-driven sounds, live voices, and manual typewriters. A few minutes from the middle of the half-hour piece are heard here. The voices are David Gunn, Claire Chomentowski, and the composer.
Echo (1986) is an hour-long performance work including transformed viol and choral sounds, live singing, and acoustic and electronic instruments designed and built by the composer. A few minutes of the transformed viols are heard here in this 1986 performance.
Meditation on the Llama Sutra (1993) uses the sound of mating llamas, transformed viols, and voices to create an oddly erotic soundscape. The work was also used as the electronic portion of the later work Llama Butter. Two minutes of the 22-minute work are heard here.
For the Invisible (1994) is a 17-second sounder created for the “New Music Newsline” of Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Bazaar (1995- 2005). It acts as a fanfare between each announcement. zéyu, quânh, and sweeh (1996) are three brief creations based on the source voice of Chris Mann, and created for the Frog Peak Collaborations Project, where all 115 compositions on the double CD used Mann’s voice as a source.
Zonule Glaes II (1999) is an hour-long work with live multichannel sound by a string quartet and a recorded track developed from voices speaking numbers and phrases in English and Czech. It was first performed at the Mánes Museum in Prague by the Styx-Q VIP Positive string quartet. Three minutes are heard here.
bellyloops (1999) uses random source voices to create a slightly stretched, repetitive rhythmic pattern as it slowly transforms the sources surrounding it so they become audible and then disappear within the texture.
No Money (Lullaby for Bill) (1999) uses the voice of Bill Gates from the composer’s 1980 interview with him, decontextualizing some of the conversation while highlighting the stunning central line—“there’s nobody getting rich writing software”. All the sounds in the composition were developed from Gates’s voice.
RatGeyser (2000) was commissioned by renowned percussionist Michael Manion for his MalletKat. It uses both highly rhythmic and linear vocal elements. About a third of the composition is heard here in Manion’s studio recording.
Snare:Wilding (2000) uses the same random source voices as bellyloops, but with a political purpose, creating a rising tension as “no!” rises in the background, in consideration of the ‘wilding’ attack in New York’s Central Park in 2000.
Williams A26 (2000) uses the voice of Shannon Williams not only in reciting her own poem, but also in the development of every sound heard in this piece. It is the 26th and most vital mix from the original dozens of takes from her recitation.
iskajtbrz (2003) is a work whose sources are skateboard sound samples provided by a Japanese company for use in a documentary about the
sport. The three-section work is heard in its entirety.
The Warbler’s Garden (2003) is the first of several years’ worth of one-minute compositions created for the Vox Novus 60×60 project. It is developed and transformed from a single boot footfall inside a covered bridge and a single bird call nearby. A set of variations was extended from this work, entitled Manifold Warblers.
nysuca hanei (2005) is also for 60×60, transforming a single vocal scream into a short series of intense, scattered rhythmic events.
Syrenical (2005) is a relentless series of air-raid sirens, a terrifying sound from the composer’s youth when ‘duck and cover’ was practiced almost daily in school. About a third of the composition is heard here.
filouria (2006) is one of a series of short pieces and later longer ‘manifolds’ developed from the transformation of a single Theremin/voice theme. For 60×60.
Future Remembrance (2007) transforms and mixes sounds recorded on a farm in Portugal and during Holocaust Remembrance Day in the Netherlands. For 60×60.
smuttle (2008) takes from the library of fireworks explosions and other acoustic sources along with the composer’s voice for a one-minute erotic cringe. For 60×60.
imanuevilla (2009) transforms the laughing voice of sound and performance artist Manuela Barile into a howling cry against percussive sounds developed from a closing door. About a third of the work is heard.
blinded (2010) is about rethinking previous library sounds—fireworks, Gates’s voice, and a single drone in the suggestion that listeners are acoustically blinded to the drone while picking out the surface sounds; a cry of “blinded” arises during the final seconds. For 60×60.
Driving My 1948 Limbo (2010) uses the earlier scream from nysuca hanei in short bursts of rhythmic confusion. For 60×60.
at 100 (2012) takes the sounds of a grand piano into a random dimension, including string-scratching and impossible arpeggios. For 60×60.
What the Thunder Said (2020) is the composer’s last electroacoustic composition, layering sounds of people, animals, singing voices, train horns, locomotive roars, groans, sighs, and library elements from previous compositions, reaching back through all 50 years for its
sources. It was first heard in Moscow, Russia, in 2020.
Biography Dennis Bathory-Kitsz
As part of the post-Fluxus generation of independent artists, Dennis Bathory-Kitsz (b.1949) composes, writes about, and advocates for nonpop. He has created more than a thousand works for orchestras, bands, sound sculptures, soloists, chamber groups, electronics, theater, opera, installations, dancers, interactive media and performance events, as well as having written about music and multimedia arts since 1964.
His music has been performed around the world. In 1978, his opera Plasm over ocean was premiered at the World Trade Center in New York. He devised the We Are All Mozart music ‘productivity’ project, composing 100 commissioned works in 2007. His monodrama opera
Erzsébet premiered in 2011. His groundbreaking article “The Rural Composer” was published in the Dutch journal Nynade in 2013. His “history of Western music in 100 pages,” Whaaaaaaaaat!? I Don’t Get Classical Music: A Self-Help Desperation Guide, was published in 2016. His ballet Send Me a Dream was performed in 2018, his political oratorio Goat Songs of the Regime of Monsters was presented in 2019, and his Requiem will be heard in 2024. He is presently celebrating his 75th birthday season.
Critic and composer Kyle Gann called him “something of a shadowy figure” and wrote in New Music America that his third string quartet is “one of the most unified quartet movements you’ll ever hear.” His music includes traditional and graphic scores, his own electronic and acoustic instruments, computer software and hardware, synthesizers and e-boxes, electronic costumes, the Rhythmatron, and extended voice performances. His graphical scores have been performed and appeared in exhibitions around the world, including the prize-winning Water No Fire for flute and alto saxophone.
Dennis co-hosted Kalvos & Damian’s New Music Bazaar, winner of the ASCAP–Deems Taylor Award for Internet Journalism, with David Gunn; his book topics have included music, theater, computer technology, hiking, and Vermont’s country stores. https://maltedmedia.com/people/bathory/bathres.html