James Dashow: First Tangent to the Given Curve For Piano and Computer

  • ©, , First Tangent to the Given Curve For Piano and Computer
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    First Tangent to the Given Curve For Piano and Computer

Artist(s) and People Involved:


Artist Statement:

    Performed by Paul Hoffman, piano


    The more time passes, the more I am fascinated with putting together musical ideas that are on the surface seemingly unrelated in order to see how they effect and transform each other, how their interactions generate form building energies. The tensions from their contrasts, the rhythms within each event, how each idea unfolds and develops, the rhythms with which the events succeed or interrupt each other… all these elements form the dynamic of my work. They are ensembles of things that generate a world of complexities, intertwinings, symmetries and asymmetries, turbulence, provocations, moods, much like the multifarious life experiences—both day to day and in the long run. The result is a unique form, a completed blend, rather like a reflection of a series (a collection) of events in life that you perceive as a local whole. A pluralistic universe in the best Jamesian tradition. The relationship between the piano and the computer generated electronic sounds is, on the other hand, rigorously worked out with extreme precision. The pitch structure provides the basis for the cniintic or vice versa a certain kind of sound yields the basis for the intervals and their specific pitches. And they too mutually influence each other. A continuous cooperative “a due”.

    The electronic sounds were generated entirely by the composer’s MUSIC30 program for digital sound synthesis running on the Spirit30 accelerator board for PC, by Sonitech Intl (Wellesley, MA.). The title of the work comes from an essay by Michel Serres, which captures rather nicely the sense of the music, the sense of the composition.


    “Here is the complement of the model. Given a flow of atoms, by the declination, the first tangent to the given curve, and afterward by the vortex, a relatively stable thing is constituted. It stays in disequilibrium, ready to break, then to die and disappear but nonetheless resistant by its established conjunctions, between the torrential flow from the upstream currents and the river flowing downstream to the sea. It is a stationary turbulence.”   —Michel Serres, on Lucretius


    First Tangent to the Given Curve has been recorded by Daniele Roi on a Capstone CD.


All Works by the Performer(s) in This Archive: