Cedar Forest

by Greg Dixon

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Cedar Forest [Kohl 010]

Disconnect (2009)- Disconnect is based upon disparate recordings from more than a decade of my life (1997- 2009).  These sounds all came from older pieces that I have made, improvisations with friends, and various recording sessions.  I tried to create a cohesive piece out of these seemingly disconnected sonic materials from my past.

Diskonacht (2011) is a companion piece to another one of my works, Disconnect (2009). The compositional process in both of these works involves mining recordings from my past. These samples are then edited, processed, and recontextualized into a new stylized work. Disconnect employed a very broad time period of samples from over 10 years, while Diskonacht utilizes recordings made within approximately 2 years (2009-2011). A few samples from Diskonacht were created by several of my colleagues at the Orford Sound Art Workshop in 2009.

You Station (2006 rev. 2010) You Station explores the musical gestures created by the rapid and unpredictable sequence of attacks found in natural sounds.  The opening sonic materials are made up of binaural recordings of sounds inside of my head created by placing small, high sensitivity microphones pointed inside of my ears. These crackling Eustachian tube sounds are the featured sound that is transformed throughout the work.

Fractures (2012) Fractures for clarinet and computer celebrates nostalgia and the past, while recontextualizing the past into something completely new. The work appropriates ideas from acoustic works for clarinet by composers such as Gershwin, Tchaikovsky, and William O. Smith. At times, the work is a rhapsodic fantasy inspired by the many popular synthesizer albums from the 60's and 70's created in the wake of Wendy Carlos' seminal album Switched on Bach. These sections contain very brief sampled quotations from LPs of electronic works that explore the synthesis of clarinet-like tones. These quotations are borrowed from popular recording artists of the time, such as Wendy Carlos, Dick Hyman, Ruth White, and Mort Garson, along with many others. Samples of vintage synthesizers are also a part of this sonic palette. Mannerisms and styles from these works also influence the score for the clarinetist.

Cedar Forest (2013):
In Mesopotamian mythology, the Cedar Forest is the glorious natural home of the gods. The Epic of Gilgamesh tells the story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu's quest to chop down the tallest trees of the Cedar Forest to build a great cedar gate for the city Nippur. The story centers on the conflict between humanity and nature, with Enkidu representing humanity's "uncivilized" roots in nature.
Cedar Forest (2013) explores this conflict as represented by relationships between the sounds of the natural world and human noise. Do sounds and noises that humanity creates convey significant messages to animals in the wild of which we are unaware? Will the sounds we make influence wild animals to evolve to create sounds that are distinctly separate from our constantly changing sonic footprint?Will human noise pollution, left uncontrolled, have the eventual effect of destroying the sonic landscapes of natural animal biomes and ecosystems around the world?
Some of the musical material from Cedar Forest is from pre-recorded improvisations performed by the composer along with: Nevada Hill, electric and acoustic guitar Rachel Yoder, melodica
Thanks to David Townsend for helping to facilitate the creation of some of the synthesizer sounds (made using his modular synthesizer).


released February 7, 2014



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