The foundation of composer Alexander Sigman’s fcremap project is a collaborative piece with Korean visual artist and animator Eunjung Hwang called Future Creatures. The generative seed of Future Creatures has given birth to this remarkable set of related works represented on this recording.
|Eric Derr, percussion||9:29|
|Laura Faoro, flute, Takao Hyakutome, violin||5:06|
|03||fcremap'dB (version 1)|
fcremap'dB (version 1)
|Decibel New Music Ensemble||10:48|
|Frederik Croene, piano||9:33|
|Pei-Lun Tsai, clarinet||4:59|
|06||fcremap'dB (version 2)|
fcremap'dB (version 2)
|Decibel New Music Ensemble||10:15|
The foundation of composer Alexander Sigman’s fcremap project is a collaborative piece with Korean visual artist and animator Eunjung Hwang called Future Creatures. Sigman’s approach to these pieces, all reconceptualizations of the original materials for Future Creatures in some form, is appropriately multi-disciplinary. He explores non-traditional scores including real time scrolling electronic graphic notation, experimental methods for triggering electronic tracks, unconventional ways of playing back electronic sounds, and image to sound analysis of the Future Creatures animation to draw fundamental connections between the materials in use in both medium. The overall result, from a musical perspective, is a sophisticated palimpsest, with a conceptual template serving as the frame upon which several variations are layered. Sigman reinforces the relationship of the pieces to each other with his titles — “fc” stands for “Future Creatures”, “remap” represents the “remapping” of the material, and the suffix indicates the instrumental combination. While the opening track, and the first piece in the series, fcremaperc, is austere and sonically exploratory, fcremapercremaflvln for alto flute, violin, electronics, and video is more whimsical, capturing the character of the animated score in the instrumental sounds. Through his innovation in score generation, integration of audio and video elements, and layering of material to create a set of related pieces, this release demonstrates Alex Sigman's place at the forefront experimental compositional aesthetics.
Alexander Sigman’s award-winning instrumental, electroacoustic, and interdisciplinary works have been featured on major international festivals, exhibitions, institutions, and venues across Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. He has been selected for artist residencies at the Akademie Schloss Solitude (Stuttgart, Germany), the Djerassi Foundation, the Paul Dresher Ensemble Artists Residency Center, and Gullkistan, Center for Creativity (Iceland). In 2013-2014, he undertook a musical research residency at IRCAM. Nominal/Noumenal, Sigman’s first portrait recording, was released on Carrier Records (NY) in 2012. His violin and electronics piece VURTRUVURT was included on violinist/violist Miranda Cuckson's solo CD Melting the Darkness, released in 2014 on the Urlicht Audiovisual label. Also active as a researcher, Sigman’s academic writing has been widely published in peer-reviewed books, journals, and conference proceedings. Sigman completed his doctorate in Music Composition at Stanford University in 2010. Further postgraduate studies were undertaken at the University for Music and the Performing Arts Vienna, as well as the Institute for Sonology of the Royal Conservatoire in The Hague (Netherlands). He is currently Associate Professor and Chair of the Music program at the International College of Liberal Arts (iCLA) of Yamanashi Gakuin University in Kofu, Japan.
Percussionist Eric Derr is committed to commissioning and presenting new, vibrant, sustainable works for percussion as well as revisiting classic pieces with focus and intensity. About his performances, ClevelandClassical.com said that he "was in the driver's seat right out of the gate" and the L.A. Times mentioned that "there is more than a little joy to be found in one percussionist hitting a ball in the air with a ping pong paddle." With the International Contemporary Ensemble, Eric has appeared at the Mostly Mozart Festival, the Park Avenue Armory, and Spectrum (New York City). Eric has also played with Chicago-based Ensemble Dal Niente since 2007 with highlight performances at the Library of Congress and in Residence at Harvard University.
An eclectic flutist specializing in contemporary repertoire, Laura Faoro regularly performs in European festivals, both as a soloist and as guest of several contemporary music ensembles. She was awarded the AssAmi Prize 2009 as a young talent and, in 2015, Il manifesto described her as “one of the most promising Italian flutists.” She has recorded for RAI, ORF, and CSR. After her RTSI performance in the presence of Salvatore Sciarrino, Enrico Colombo wrote: “A particular mention for Faoro, for the way she performed the hard articulations of the sounds and the existential anxiety which crosses Sciarrino's music and poetic. I will remember this concert for her amazing performance of Canzona di ringraziamento.”
After having won many prizes at international competitions, Takao Hyakutome is now predominantly a solo violinist, and regularly premieres works for both violin solo and ensemble. He has been the artist in residence at ChampdAction since 2011 and also plays in many other chamber music groups. He has performed in festivals such as Ultraschall in Berlin, Biennale Musiques en Scène in Lyon, ME_MMIX in Palma de Mallorca, Mixtur in Barcelona, Forum Wallis in Leuk, NUNC! in Evanston, and many others. Besides being active as a performer, Takao also does research on extended violin techniques including subharmonics and rubber band preparation.
Decibel are world leaders in the integration of acoustic instruments and electronics, the interpretation of graphic notations and pioneering digital score formats for composition and performance. The ensemble has commissioned over 60 new works since their foundation in 2009, have toured Europe and Australia, recorded for ABC Classic FM and SWR German Radio, and released five albums to date on Australian and international labels. The ensemble has developed and commercialized the Decibel ScorePlayer iPad app, a score reading device incorporating mobile score formats and networked coordination performance environments that is sold worldwide.
Decibel are Cat Hope (artistic director, flutes, bass), Lindsay Vickery (reeds), Stuart James (electronics, keyboards, drum kit), Aaron Wyatt (viola), Tristen Parr (cello), and Louise Devenish (percussion).
Frederik Croene is a pianist/performer/composer based in Merelbeke, Belgium. He graduated as a pianist from conservatories in Belgium in 1999. Since then he developed several trajectories that all have a (re)searching character in common. He started as an atypical interpreter combining classical repertoire with hard-boiled contemporary pieces. His debut CD release (HA’ Records 2003) was an extraordinary mix of Brahms, Janacek, Bartok, Scelsi and new pieces by F. Gyselynck, B. Vodenitcharov and P. Craenen. Parallel to his solo career (with highly successful recitals on festivals like Transit (BE), Holland Festival (NL) and Time of Music (FI)), he built up a huge expertise as a chamber musician performing with other soloists and with a variety of ensembles based in Belgium (Spectra, Ictus, Nadar, Tiptoe Company, Vlaams Symfonieorkest,...)
A versatile clarinetist, Pei-Lun Tsai has performed widely as a soloist and chamber musician throughout the United States, Canada, China, Korea, Europe, and her native Taiwan. During the winters of 2011-2015, Ms. Tsai was an artist in residence at the Karlheinz Stockhausen Foundation and Banff Music Centre. In recent years, Tsai was invited to perform at ACL-Korea International Conference and Festival, Malaysian Contemporary Festival (SMCC), ASEAN Nanning Music Festival, Thailand International Composition Festival (TICF), Seoul International Computer Music Festival, and ICA Mid-American Clarinet Festival.
“fcremap” is a new contemporary academical avant-garde album which was released by “New Focus Recordings” on November 10. The album compositions were created by American composer Alexander Sigman which creates interesting and original experimental music. His instrumental, electroacoustic, film, multimedia, and installation works have been featured at major international festivals, exhibitions, institutions, and venues across Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America. Alexander Sigman also had been collaborating with various music genres musicians and experimental music composers. His musical language is based on various shocking and interesting musical decisions, weird timbres, strange sounds and special sound effects. Dynamic, full of unpredictable and unexpectable stylistic waves and turns – this music always has adventurous and extraordinary sound. Alexander Sigman works are mostly dedicated for various electronic instruments, films, multimedia projects. Through the years of his musical career, Alexander Sigman had created and masterfully improved original, adventurous and bright musical language and unique composing style.
Album compositions were written by Alexander Sigman and Korean visual artist and animator Eunjung Hwang which is called “Future Creatures”. The compositions is based on free form, not stricly based structure, independent and individual melodies, strange timbres and electrnic instruments sounds. Computer devices, special sound effects, various electronic instruments playing techniques and many other similar elements are the basic of these compositions. Composers try out many different playing techniques – they are twisting together traditional and innovative ways of playing. This wide range of different playing techniques which are highly contrasting with each other. Strange timbres, various computer and electronic devices sounds, electroacoutic instruments timbres make an effort to whole album sound – it brings evocative, innovative, bright and vivid sound. Energetic and striking compositions episodes are connected together with subtle, silent, slow and abstract episodes. The main part of these compositions is based on abstract music elements. This music doesn’t have memorable and expressive melodies, vivacious and emotional melodic episodes which would be contrastingly connected with each other. Separate timbres, all kinds of different types of rhtyhmic formulas are the main and most important episodes of this album. Abstraction, dynamic and constantly changing rhythmic, sudden turns of characters and moods create extraordinary and innovative musical pattern. Composers get out from the zone of traditional zone, expand and explore technique abilities of various instruments. They also use different musical expressions, dynamics, other musical language elements which are masterfully combined with each other in one composition. Original composing styles, wide range of musical expressions and musical language elements create interesting and bright sound of this album.
— Avant Scena, 11.24.2017
Mood-shifting sound sculptures utilising electronics, violin, flute and various other instruments in conjunction with Korean visual artist Eunjung Hwang, whose graphic notations were used as a trigger for each of these compositions. Hwang’s Future Creatures animated film formed the starting point to these collaborative reinterpretations, or remapping, of the original material via multidisciplinary means. As with most such work, it is austere and demanding, yet remains playfully shaded as it jostles between the erratic and often brittle arrangements, only compounding that Sigman’s approach to modern composition is one of ever-rewarding returns. Strong, bold and ambitious, fcremap is possessed of a fiery nature impossible to ignore. Also included is the original film, itself a vibrant short of surrealistic and otherworldly hue somewhere between sci-fi commentary and a crude video game perhaps invented by Eraserhead’s Henry.
— Richard Johnson, Adverse Effect, 3.1.2018
Composer Alexander Sigman worked with Korean visual artist Eunjung Hwang on an animation called Future Creatures in 2013, and after percussionist Eric Derr saw this work, he requested a new solo piece that would include visual and sonic elements from it. The process led the composer to score a series of works—the album title fcremap blends the initials of the animation with “remap”—using a recombinant approach. The various pieces here blend new writing and lacerating electronic layers with actual sound from the animation, as well as sonic translations of Hwang’s visual creation. For Derr’s piece “fcremaperc”—“perc” for percussion, natch—that actualization transmits those translations via transducers embedded in various parts of the percussion setup (metal sheet, snare drum, and zither). Further, on some pieces including two versions of “fcremap’dB,” created for the excellent Australian group Decibel New Music Ensemble, images from Hwang’s animation are projected as an additional, interactive part of the score. Beyond the pieces for Derr and Decibel, there are woozy pieces for flute and violin (played here by Laura Faoro and Takao Hyakkutome) and prepared piano (Frederik Croene). If all of those source ideas seem a bit heady and dry, well, don’t worry, because an academic background isn’t necessary to enjoy this intensely fricative music.
— Peter Margasak, Bandcamp Daily, 2.26.2018