The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States: Music From SEAMUS Volume 25

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SEAMUS (Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States) has been promoting electro-acoustic composition, performance, and recording since its founding in 1984. This new imprint devoted to their works begins with Vol. 25 and will subsequently include new releases alongside rereleases of their back catalogue.

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Founded in 1984, The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States (SEAMUS) is a non-profit organization of teachers, performers, and composers of electro-acoustic music, a term used to describe those musics that are dependent on electronic technology for their creation and/or performance. Music from Seamus Volume 25 presents eight works selected at the organization’s national conference.

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Dan VanHassel’s fzzl for snare drum and live electronics incorporates elements of West African dance-drumming, hip-hop, and experimental electronics. VanHassel fuses the acoustic and electronic by using a small transducer attached to the bottom of a snare drum, allowing electronic sounds to resonate through the drum rather than separate speakers. rising, by Paul Botelho, features voice and fixed media. The work reflects upon struggle and its ultimate transcension, weaving a narrative of denial, confrontation, acceptance, loss, and rebirth. Mark Phillips’s Violin Power for violin and interactive electronics layers a variety of electronic accompaniment textures upon a solo violin part. At times, these electronic sounds distort and filter the violin’s line and create percussive outbursts. Jefrey Stolet’s Imagined Destinies is a real-time interactive performance composition for Kyma (an interactive electronic music software), a book, and two microphones. The text focuses on the challenges of two countries working towards a deep and lasting friendship. Nothing That Breathes, by John Nichols, is an eight-channel acousmatic composition that addresses the relationship between human beings and nature. The composition explores the archetypal theme of the “wind among the deities and the breath among vital functions” suggested in the Chandogya Upanishad and from the book of Ezekiel. Sustained sonorities symbolizing the omnipresence of wind are integrated with events representing individual moments.

Kristen Volness’s River Rising for violin and live electronics is an elegy to those who have lost friends, family, livelihoods, and communities—sometimes an entire existence that can never be recovered—to unexpected tragedy. The Rush of the Brook Stills the Mind for multi-percussion and live, interactive electroacoustics takes its inspiration and title from a poem by Wally Swist, published in his text Huang Po and the Dimensions of Love. The percussionist’s virtuosic foray through Swist’s evocative work pairs acoustic and electroacoustic forces into a single entity. Benjamin Broening's Twilight Shift explores the liminal light of dusk as shadows lengthen, the bright colors of day darken, and the familiar world is gradually transformed.

Produced by SEAMUS
Remastered by Scott A. Wyatt at University of Illinois Experimental Studios
Original design by David Colley, revised design by Mark Hileman/Ken O’Brien
seamusonline.org