Catalog/Discography

Discography

“8-Bit Samurai”
2015, self-published as Tempest
self-recorded & perf.

“Hearth”
2014, self-published
recorded by Davis Hill Senior Recital collective & EWU student musicians

“Monolith”
2013, self-published as Tempest
self-recorded & perf.

“Life 6 EP’
2013, self-published as Tempest
Self-recorded

“Make Peace”
I Have Dreamed (Rogers & Hammerstein, arr. Davis Hill)
2011, published by Eastern Washington University
Recorded by Eastern Washington University Jazz Band, cond. Robert Tapper

“Music 2.0”
2010, self-published
recorded by Music 2.0 Collective

Performance Works

Cassons-nous (“Baby it’s Gonna Blow”) (2016)
fixed media

8-Bit Samurai (2015)
fixed media

Hypermimetics I, II, III (2014)
for 2 or more instruments/voices of same kind; 3 or more ” “; solo performer

The Dragon at Dawn (2014)
marimba with live electronics
Commissioned by Lauren McKinley 1 March 2014 performance
perf. at Lauren McKinley Junior Percussion Recital 3/1/14 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
The Dragon at Dawn is a sonic portrait of sunrise. The piece was composed using synaesthetic color/pitch/timbre associations, in which each pitch represents a non-absolute color. D, for example, is always red, but its visual quality and “redness” vary with timbre. This means that articulation, mallet choice, roll speed, and dynamic level can change the color of each pitch.
The top 4 octaves of the marimba represent different strata of the sky: starting from the horizon, each represents approximately 2.6 degrees toward the zenith. Just as in a sunset, light and color changes begin in the lowest stratum (octave) and flow upward. Synaesthetically, the changing color of sunrise represents a chromatic pitch progression, with the exception that notes between D and Ab are not used. Blue—both the deep night blue of Bb and the pregnant softness of B—give way to B-C’s premonitions of light, the clear sky of C, then finally onto the light itself: C-C#’s tinges of orange give way to C#’s warm tangerine glow, finally melting into the deep lustrous red of D, which splashes onto clouds surrounding the waxing sun. The sun itself is characterized by the ruddy, yolky yellow of Ab moving towards the lighter, higher-energy radiance of A. At end of sunrise, the entire sky seems to vibrate with the yellow-orange-red-yellow chord A-C#-D-Ab. This is where Dragon at Dawn ends: on the last trembling edge between sunrise and day.
Throughout the piece, material played by the marimba is augmented by live electronics. The software, which was designed in Max/MSP, has two dimensions: looping and reactive synthesis via pitch detection. By depressing an electronic footpedal, the player can record ephemeral audio loops of varying length. When pitches from the red-orange-yellow spectrum (D, C#, Ab, A) are detected in a loop, the software generates sine waves at the same pitch, dynamic level, and decay rate as material captured in the corresponding loop.
In conceiving the piece and devising the electronics, I found a number of compelling reasons to use marimba: the timbre is warm, rich, and woody—a good surrogate for early-morning light; the ability to change mallets makes timbral changes (in this case, literal color changes) easy to effect; looped marimba rolls’ percussive genesis give them a pleasing grit (such as we find in low-light vision) absent from acoustically sustained pitches.
The only external control mechanism required for The Dragon at Dawn is an electronic footpedal, an item whose use is both easy and immediately apparent. The player interfaces with the electronics-enhanced marimba in nearly the same way they would an acoustic marimba. This design reflects my philosophy that electro-acoustic electronics should be cybernetic augmentations of acoustic instruments, rather than additional instruments themselves. Minimalist design allows performers to retain conventional performance modality as much as possible.

Goodnight (2013)
solo piano
Dedicated to Daniel Sachs
composed for the 9 November 2013 Fifteen-Minutes-Of-Fame competition – Theme: Hommage à Ravel

Entomologica (2013)
fixed media
perf. at the Washington State University 2014 Festival of Contemporary Art Music 7 February 2014 – Kimberough Concert Hall – Washington State University, Pullman, WA
Uses creative-commons licensed insect sounds sampled from the Encyclopedia of Life Archives (http://eol.org/) and X-ray sonifications from the Harvard-Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory (http://www.cfa.harvard.edu/sao/).
composed for the 2013 Smithsonian at8 Remix Contest.
Smithsonianat8 invited composers to use sound samples from the Smithsonian Library in creating new works. Entomologica uses recordings from the Singing Insects of North America archives and sonifications of interstellar X-ray data collected at the Harvard-Smithsonian Observatory, as well as recordings from my own archives.
Entomologica is influenced both by my lifelong love of insects and my role as a vocal conductor and choirmaster. In composing the piece, I attempted to weave a sonic tapestry that was contemporary and acousmatic yet recognizable as a logical extension of the natural world, in accord with my belief that human music should augment our perception of nature, rather than separate us from it. I view this composition style as a sample-based, 21st-century take on historical classical vocal composition and counterpoint. Throughout the piece, the constant pi and its powers serve as factors for pitch and speed mutations, as well as temporal and rhythmic relationships between samples.

Radio Nights (2013)
radio
Performative piece for radio that alternates between high frequencies, silence, and almost-silent material. To be perf. between 10pm and 4am.

Poems by Stephen Crane (2013-17)
voice and piano
I. A Man Said
II. When the Prophet
III. There Was a Land
IV. Fast Rode the Knight
V. There was a Man
VI. Two or Three Angels
VII. You Say that You are Holy / War is Kind

Infinite Arc (2013)
tenor saxophone, jazz guitar, piano with Superpedal, bass, drum set, fixed media playback
Commissioned by the Eastern Washington University Foundation for 14 June 2013 performance
perf. at the Eastern Washington University Honors and Frances B. Huston Convocation 14 June 2013 – Showalter Auditorium – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
Infinite Arc is an electro-acoustic piece written within the contemporary jazz style; it includes a standard jazz quintet, fixed media playback (field recordings), and electronics. This piece circumvents the established Western tradition of melodic development and harmonic progression based on tension and resolution. Instead, it uses recursive musical gestures and compositional processes to establish continuous self-reference.
Infinite Arc is through-composed: its solo “sections” are not duplicative, as is common in the jazz style; instead, they are fundamental structural elements that advance the sonic narrative. This piece is an attempt to use a linear medium (music, which must unfold over time) to convey a non-linear experience—an endeavor whose complexities, frustrations, and possibly inevitable failure have always intrigued me. The use of field recordings and electronics solidifies this aim: the idea, as in James Joyce’s Ulysses, is that the moment transcends the moment. These elements help pull the listener out of the “music”— as defined by the equal-tempered instrumental parts — and instead encourage them to listen to the sound as a whole.
I was inspired by the image of concentric circles spiraling within one another. This idea was used as the basis for serial choices in the compositional process. I also see improvisation as a serial process within this piece. It allows me to give directions to the performers as to style, shape, and gesture, without dictating the notes, rhythms, and harmonies they use. This is an application of Barry Truax’ idea that algorithmic composition is “top-down” composing.

Emergence (2013) – with Vitaliy Rybakin
fixed media
Correspondence collaboration with Russian composer Vitaly Rybakin using the Soundcloud internet platform. I created a composed improvisation with Agrippa and sent it to Vitaly. He then layered extended guitar over the original recording.

The Caves of Steel (2013)
Agrippa, electronics, voice, fixed media
perf. 14 May 2013 – Eastern Washington University Gallery of Art – Cheney, WA

The Underground (2013)
fixed media
Overlays performances of Agrippa with phone and voice recordings taken from my work as a journalist.

Life 6 (2013)
fixed media
Selected for performance at the 2013 Electronic Music Midwest festival 26 October 2013 – Kansas City Kansas Community College, Kansas City, KS
perf. at “MONOLITH” release party 5 October 2013 – The Phat House – Spokane, WA
perf. at “Life 6 EP” release party 15 August 2013 – Cheney, WA
In Life 6, a short musical fragment is played through a speaker and recorded, at a low resolution, through an external microphone. The resultant recording is then played back, and recorded again. The process is repeated until the resultant recording contains no audio—in this case, 6 times. Electro-acoustic composer Ben Luca Robertson called Life 6 “deconstructive of the 20th and 21st centuries.” The quantization inherent in digital sampling sanitizes sound; at the same time, digital tools allow for unprecedented editing and error correction. Digital technology gives so much power, and yet it is also transient. But in stripping away errors, do we also strip away something valuable?
Life 6 is as much a process as it is a single piece of music. By varying the recording parameters and original fragment, many different versions and performances are possible. In this performance, the source material was derived from an original electronic piece in the style of 8-bit video games. This content was sped up, reversed, played back through external laptop speakers, and recorded via the laptop’s onboard microphone. The resultant recording was used as the source material—the initial fragment of “Life.” Such a recursive process allows a single fragment to grow infinitely and organically. The artifacts become the music.

I Get Anxious, Okay?! (2013)
bassoon, cello, clarinet, electronics, percussion, piano, tenor voice, fixed media, voice: SAB
perf. at Undergraduate Senior Composition Recital 24 February 2013 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

I Get Anxious, Okay?! is a five-movement work for chamber ensemble with pre-recorded sound and electronics. It is influenced by new complexity, in which the music is purposefully difficult to perform. Another notable influence is the work of the iconoclastic French composer Erik Satie, whose perverse sense of humor earned him as many enemies as it did friends.
Harmonically, I Get Anxious, Okay?! is a modal extrapolation of C minor. Melodic structure is derived from the intervals of augmented and diminished seconds. However, the primary method of development is gestural. The piece is modeled after an anxiety “episode.”
I. In the first movement, piano improvisations are intermingled with a short, simple phrase that grows more erratic with each repetition. The anxiety “victim” grows nervous: why won’t it stop?
II. In the second movement, the pianist breaks into a waltz-like ostinato. The rest of the ensemble joins in a frantic race for harmonic and rhythmic stability. The victim must avoid anything that would trigger her anxiety! Otherwise . . . !
III. The third movement builds amorphously into a panoply of dread. The tenor ambles, seeking, and finds doppelgangers in the cello and kazoo. The victim’s vision grows hazy and her head swims. She is all alone, now. Fear and exhaustion give way to a half-life—a space between life and death.
IV. In the fourth movement, the victim, defeated, awaits oblivion. Yet voices ebb and swell within the cage of her brain. She cannot let go; there is nothing she can do to stop her own psychological implosion.
V. In the fifth movement, the victim wakes as if from a dream. Terror is revealed as illusion; her strength returns. The silent hours of early dawn give comfort and truth. This movement borrows from Gregorian chant and German chorale styles. The ending cello theme is based on the Epitaph of Seikilos, the earliest Greek song that is extant in its entirety.

The Alembic (2013)
string quintet or timbrally similar quintet
Composed using numerological concepts from Francis Barret’s 1801 publication The Magus, this piece incorporates improvisation on the part of the ensemble.

Rhapsody (2012)
fixed media
perf. at Undergraduate Senior Composition Recital 24 February 2013 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
Brief electronic sonatina stylistically influenced by 8-bit video game music of the 1990s.

Hyperacusis (2012)
Agrippa
12 March 2013 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
perf. at Undergraduate Senior Composition Recital 24 February 2013 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
Hyperacusis is a state of extreme acoustic sensitivity, in which sounds of low or moderate amplitude are perceived as painfully loud. Hyperacusis is a solo piece composed for the electro-acoustic instrument Agrippa. The structure of the piece is derived from gestural rather than melodic or harmonic development.
The score imitates LEGO® building toy instruction manuals. These manuals represent the building process using illustrations only, without any additional verbal directions. At each step in the building process, the user must compare that illustration to previous illustrations in order to determine which pieces to add before moving on to the next step. The construction of a LEGO® model—and the interpretation of the score for Hyperacusis—thus becomes intuitive rather than didactic. The “silence” of this wordless score is representative of how the piece sounds.

Lights Out (2012)
piano, voice, optional chamber jazz ensemble
19 April 2013 – Jacklin Arts and Cultural Center- Post Falls, ID
perf. at Undergraduate Senior Composition Recital 24 February 2013 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
Lights Out is a through-composed song in which the music and lyrics are continually changing. It takes influences from jazz, classical chamber music, European art song, and Western pop.

Sundance (2012)
Agrippa, electronics, keyboards, fixed media
perf. at Eastern Washington University Research and Creative Works Symposium 2012 15 May 2012 – Gallery of Art – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
Sundance combines elements of electronic music, acid jazz, minimalism, and club music.

Solarity (2012)
Agrippa
perf. at Eastern Washington University Composers Tour 2012 5 May 2012 – Gallery 1412, Seattle, WA
4 May 2012 – The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
Solo improvisational piece. My goal for Solarity was to improvise a piece of electroacoustic music that would sound cohesive to persons familiar only with instrumental music.

Untitled #1 (2012)
Eastern Washington University Soundspaces ensemble
Composed in collaboration with Ben Luca Robertson
perf. at Eastern Washington University Composers Tour 2012 5 May 2012 – Gallery 1412, Seattle, WA
4 May 2012 – The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
EWU Soundspaces ensemble: Davis Hill, Agrippa; Kelly Michael Fox, convolution instrument; Tyler Dines, droneboard; Jonathan Middleton, Mr. Bubbles; Ben Luca Robertson, zithitar

Untitled #1 is a guided improvisation composed for the EWU Soundspaces ensemble, a group comprised of original electro-acoustic instruments created as part of Ben Luca Robertson’s Soundpsaces instrument design course. Ben and I painted a visual score with five distinct images which were used to guide group improvisation.

Balalaika (2012)
mbira
perf. 13 April 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Never Phazed (2012)
variable ensemble
perf. 6 March 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
Never Phazed is a mobile-form piece composed for tonal instruments. Each performer has multiple options for improvisation which are cued by a conductor. Parts are nonspecific and modular, with different iterations of each part for additional variance. The piece is loosely based around dminished-scale harmony.

Narcissus’ Dream (2011-13)
female voice, polyphonic vocoder module
perf. at Undergraduate Senior Composition Recital 24 February 2013 – Eastern Washington University – Cheney, WA
Narcissus’ Dream is a sonic extrapolation of the Narcissus-Echo myth of Greek mythology. Narcissus’ Dream is composed for female voice with polyphonic vocoder. A vocoder is a synthesizer that creates a composite timbre representative of both the human voice and synthesized tones. In this piece, its use enables the vocalist to “sing” chords.
The first section presents through-composed text based upon the Ovidian retelling of that myth. It establishes, both sonically and thematically, the idea of echoes. The echoes are written into the piece and perf.; they are not obtained via processing. The second section, which is organized into two clusters, uses recursive processes to organize a novel reiteration of the text and illustrates Echo’s breakdown via the erratic and incomplete repetition of things she has said before. The Fibonacci process cycles through the text, with greater and greater leaps between words; the second process, because of its linearity, created phrases that fall outside of accepted syntax. The third section can be considered a coda to the material presented during the first section. It continues to develop the echo theme, and culminates in an actual (processed) echo.
The three sections loosely represent the 5 stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance) in chronological order. Throughout the piece, the emotional valence (and its method of expression) is constantly and subtly shifting; similarly, the sonic focus shifts between clarity of the vocoded material and the linearity of the vocal line. Every utterance is vocoded (no single pitches appear in this piece): the performer is asked to sing a specific pitch within each vocoded chord based on a spectral analysis of the chord’s resonance points and the performative effect intended by that chord.
The artifacts created by vocoding technology, especially when paired with the higher range of the female voice and the shifting position of the voice within each chord, create a sonic “shadow world.” Cross-reference the contextual uncertainty between object and subject in the poem, Narcissus’ death-cusp state, and Echo’s identity as ghost: Narcissus’ Dream creates a sonic world all its own.
Polyphonic vocoder module designed by Ben Luca Robertson.

Equinox (2012)
amplified solo piano
perf. at Eastern Washington University Composers Tour 2013 11 May 2013 – The Rose Center of the Arts – Lower Columbia College, Longview, WA
Equinox is a mobile-form minimalist piece that focuses on adding and evolving layers. Different elements are added in specific macro- and micro-sequences, but as the piece progresses the performer is allowed to subvert these sequences. The performer is entirely in control of the pacing and duration of the piece, which may vary widely. Performance is restricted to the spring and autumn months.

MONOLITH (2012)
amplified solo piano
perf. at “MONOLITH” release party 5 October 2013 – The Phat House – Spokane, WA
Mobile-form minimalist piece that focuses on adding and evolving layers. Different elements are added in specific macro- and micro-sequences, but as the piece progresses the performer is allowed to subvert these sequences. The performer is entirely in control of the pacing and duration of the piece, which may vary widely. Summer or winter performance only.

Sonata (2012)
viola and piano
perf. at Undergraduate Senior Composition Recital 24 February 2013 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Triumphal (2011)
solo piano

Breakdown v.1 (2011)
fixed media
Based in part upon The Beatles’ In My Life, this piece marks the first time I recycled my own practice recordings for use in musical composition.

Wretched (2011)
fixed media

Sonification of musical data gleaned from concatenation of the constant phi. Composed using the MusicAlgorithms software at http://www.musicalgorithms.ewu.edu.

Seven Variations on the Theme of Consternation (2011)
solo piano
perf. 22 February 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
This piece grew from variations upon two symphonic themes by Sibelius.

Return to SR-388 (2011-13)
variable electro acoustic ensemble with multimedia
I. First Landing
II. Interlude
III. Elation
IV. Remembrance
V. Darkness
VI. Attack
VII. Descent
VIII. Dread
IX. Confrontation
X. Desoliation
XI. Death – Reprieve?
perf. at Undergraduate Senior Composition Recital 24 February 2013 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
perf. at MUSIC 2.0: A New Music Session 21 April 2011 – Gatto’s Pizzeria – Cheney, WA
Return to SR-388 is an 11-movement music/multimedia production that combines acoustic and electronic music performance, electronic sound, written narrative, video performance, and visual art to create a fully immersive atmosphere. The piece is based on a video game that I played in my childhood. Set in the distant future, the game tells the story of an intergalactic bounty hunter sent to eradicate a monstrous race of alien creatures on a far-flung planet. I wrote an original prose narrative that reframes the game’s story. The music is based upon this narrative, and is improvised in response to it. The narrative structure is divided into chapters—one for each movement of music. Many video games present violence as the primary mode of communication between player and game world. In video games, violence is acceptable because injuries are abstract. Bullets strike invisibly, bodies fade into thin air, and protagonists regenerate instantly. Presumably, the emotional trauma fades, too. Video game characters are voiceless, and they must obey our every command—such is their programming. Yet if we gave them voice, how would they feel about the things we make them do?

Orthanc (2011)
variable ensemble
perf. at MUSIC 2.0: A New Music Session 21 April 2011 – Gatto’s Pizzeria – Cheney, WA

Firedance (2011)
piano 4-hands
perf. at MUSIC 2.0: A New Music Session 21 April 2011 – Gatto’s Pizzeria – Cheney, WA

String Quartet in E Minor (2011)
string quartet
perf. at Eastern Washington University Research and Creative Works Symposium 15 May 2012 – Gallery of Art – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

[12-Tone Anagrams Convolve in] Conjuration (2011)
variable ensemble and narrator
perf. 22 February 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

The Road Goes Ever On (2010-11)
solo baritone voice
text by J.R.R. Tolkien
perf. 8 November 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
perf. 13 May 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Peace (2010-11)
piano
perf. 22 February 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Odysseus on his return to an empty Ithaca (2010-11)
effected solo piano
perf. at Eastern Washington University Research and Creative Works Symposium 17 May 2011 – Eastern Washington University Gallery of Art -Cheney, WA
perf. 22 February 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Duet for Clarinet and Trombone (2010)
clarinet and trombone
perf. 19 November 2010 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
perf. 22 October 2010 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Jazz
Summer Song (2014)
jazz small group

Ever After . . . (2012)
jazz small group

Guinnevere (2012)
jazz big band
arrangement for big band of the David Crosby song
perf. at Eastern Washington University Jazz Arrangers Concert with Dave Rivello 17 May 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
I undertook this project with the goal of transforming Guinnevere, one of my favorite songs, into an extended, more abstract chamber orchestra/jazz band arrangement. I rearranged the |:ABC:|DABC structure of the original to approximate the AABA structure familiar in jazz, while still retaining the unique qualities of the original structure.

Incandescence (2012)
jazz piano, bass, drum set
perf. 13 November 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Apotheosis (2012)
tenor saxophone, jazz guitar, piano, bass, drum set
Commissioned by the Eastern Washington University Foundation for 15 June 2012 performance

perf. at the Eastern Washington University Honors and Frances B. Huston Convocation 15 June 2012 – Showalter Auditorium – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Falling for You (2012)
jazz piano, bass, drum set
perf. 6 March 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Freefall (2012)
jazz small group
perf. at Undergraduate Senior Composition Recital 24 February 2013 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
perf. 6 March 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
perf. at Eastern Washington University Composers Tour 2012 5 May 2012 – Gallery 1412, Seattle, WA
perf. 4 May 2012 – The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA
perf. 20 April 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

On a Sunday Afternoon (2012)
jazz small group
perf. 15 December 2011 – The Globe – Spokane, WA

I Gave You Everything (2011)
jazz voice and jazz small group
perf. at Diane Brittany Pfundheller Undergraduate Senior Voice Recital 11 March 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA
perf. 8 November 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Into the Light (2011)
soprano saxophone, trombone, piano, bass, drum set
Commissioned by the Eastern Washington University Foundation for 10 June 2011 performance
perf. at Eastern Washington University Honors and Frances B. Huston Convocation 10 June 2011 – Showalter Auditorium – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

I Have Dreamed (2011)
jazz big band
arrangement of the Rodgers & Hammerstein song for big band
recorded May 2011 by the Eastern Washington University Jazz Band, cond. Robert Tapper
perf. at Eastern Washington University Jazz Arrangers Concert with Bob Curnow 19 May 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Joyland (2011)
jazz small group

Native Plant Society (2011)
jazz small group

Deep Freeze (2011)
jazz small group
perf. 24 May 2011 – Pence Union Building – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

The Caowt (2011)
jazz small group

Cool Blue (2011)
jazz small group

Minor Yours (2011)
jazz small group

Agamemnon’s Bet (2011)
jazz small group
perf. 12 May 2011 – Gatto’s Pizzeria – Cheney, WA

Castor: Sibilance (2010)
perf. 30 April 2011 – Riverpark Square – Spokane, WA
perf. 21 April 2011 – Gatto’s Pizzeria – Cheney, WA

O.S.N. (2008-10)
jazz small group

Retribution (2010)
jazz small group
perf. at Eastern Washington University Jazz Dialogues Festival 2010 13 November 2010 – Showalter Hall – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Pedagogy
Blues in the Barnyard (2012)
jazz piano pedagogy

Film
“Don’t Be Late” (2012)
short film by Benjamin Johnson
Screened at Eastern Washington University Research and Creative Works Symposium 15 May 2012 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

“The Changes Don’t Matter” (2012)
short film by Austin Bissell
composed in collaboration with Yasas Amarasinghe

“BRICK” (2011)
short film by Alex Quam
Screened at Eastern Washington University Research and Creative Works Symposium 17 May 2011 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

“Broken Glass” (2010)
short film by Hyun WooScreened at Eastern Washington University Research and Creative Works Symposium 18 May 2010 – Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Projects
Agrippa (electro-acoustic / software instrument)
The electro-acoustic instrument Agrippa was designed as part of the Soundspaces instrument design class at Eastern Washington University. Comprised of both physical and software components, it is also capable of utilizing its output device (a speaker) as an input source. Agrippa collects audio from two contact microphones, one of which is normally attached to a metal percussion brush. This audio is processed in Repeater 0.92, a computer program designed with Max/MSP, before being outputted through the speaker. Processing consists of two distinct repeat operations applied to the same audio signal. Each operation has customizable parameters for the amount of repetition and the length of audio segment to which that repetition is applied. The customizable repetition parameters and use of simple physical inputs allow Agrippa to create many types of sounds. Complex polyrhythms are possible, as are wind- or ocean-like washes. Analog distortion or supercharged harmonics can be created by applying the contact microphones to the speaker. Ghostly whispers can be achieved by dragging microphones across strands of the percussion brush. Agrippa’s power lies in its ability to amplify and extol sounds that are otherwise inaudible. In this way, everyday objects such as nail files, binder combs, or brushes can become fascinating sonic playgrounds.