James Dashow: selections from 'Soundings in Pure Duration'

Call & Response is looking forward to hosting an audition of works from Soundings in Pure Durationby James Dashow.

This session is dedicated to the memory of flautist
Ann Cherry

James Dashow:
A pioneer in the field of computer music, Dashow was one of the founders of the Centro di Sonologia Computazionale at the University of Padova, where he composed the first works of computer music in Italy; he has taught at MIT, Princeton University, the Centro para la Difusion di Musica Contemporanea in Madrid and the Musica Viva Festival in Lisbon; he was invited by the Conservatorio di Musica Benedetto Marcello in Venezia to teach an intensive series of workshop/masterclasses in digital sound synthesis techniques applied in particular to compositional practices, and to various aspects of the spatialization of sound. 

James Dashow has had commissions, awards and grants from the Bourges International Festival of Experimental Music, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation, Linz Ars Electronica Festival,the Fromm Foundation, the Biennale di Venezia, the USA National Endowment for the Arts, RAI (Italian National Radio), the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, the Rockefeller Foundation, Il Cantiere Internazionale d'Arte (Montepulciano, Italy), the Koussevitzky Foundation, Prague Musica Nova, and the Harvard Musical Association of Boston. In 2000, he was awarded the prestigious Prix Magistere at the 30th Festival International de Musique et d'Art Sonore Electroacoustiques in Bourges. 

In 2011, Dashow was presented with the distinguished career award "Il CEMAT per la Musica" from the Federazione CEMAT (Roma) for his outstanding contributions to electronic music.

Soundings in Pure Duration n.2a, for pre-recorded percussion and hexaphonic electronic sounds:
This n. 2a in the Soundings in Pure Duration series makes considerable use of pre-recorded percussion sounds, especially a selection of wonderfully resonant African and Latin American instruments. The electronic sounds were generated entirely by Gustavo Del Gado's real time implementation via Max/MSP of Dashow's Dyad System, which offers a highly efficient way of generating and evaluating an immense variety of sounds using the Generating Dyad principle of the System. Further information and downloadable software relative to the composer's Dyad System and MUSIC30 are available at his website: http://www.jamesdashow.net/inglese/soft.html

Spatialization is of fundamental importance to the compositional conception, as both an expressive element as well as a structural determinant, particularly the movement >in< space and the movement >of< space, in synchronization with timbral and rhythmic developments. The sounds sometimes seem to generate space which can vary from the immediacy of close up to the huge dimensions and depths of enormous sonic panoramas. 

On occasion, 2 or 3 different kinds of space are present simultaneously to coincide with different kinds of phrasings...an attempt at spatial counterpoint that matches the contrapuntal interactions of the sounds and percussion phrases. Soundings 2b benefits from the abundance of material generated for this work, and has the same combination of instruments and electronic sound: another form, another conception.

Soundings in Pure Duration n.6, for octophonic electronic sounds:
This 6th in Dashow's series of Soundings in Pure Duration is all about timbre, time and space. Timbral developments are closely synchronized with the movement of sonic events, structured as variously paced dynamic phrases, in space.  Sequences of events are realized in a sort of spatial counterpoint where multiple trajectories of sounds are played simultaneously. The spatial choreography of the several timbral lines attempts to place the listener inside the counterpoint as it moves and transforms around the hall.  Composing with space generates a uniquely expressive kind of musical experience that can fully involve the listener in the musical work in genuinely new ways.