The Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the United States: Music from SEAMUS, vol. 21


SEAMUS releases Volume 21 of its back catalog, chronicling electro-acoustic from its member composers from 2012.


Benjamin Broening’s Radiance for clarinet and electronics is based on “City Lights,” a poem by A.R. Ammons. A swirling, atmospheric electronic part envelops heroic, ascending arpeggios in the clarinet, making way for a more lyrical, pacific middle section with a harmonic halo in the electronics.

Robert Seaback performs his own shape shifting composition for amplified guitar and computer playback, scape II. Violent, glitchy outbursts in coordination with the pre-recorded part ricochet across the stereo field, often leaving ethereal resonances in their wake to be contemplated. The final minutes of the piece turn towards more granulated, static textures, a contrast to the nervous energy of the opening.

Scott A. Wyatt’s Comlinks takes a broad view of the panoply of sounds associated with the evolution of telephones. In the opening, we hear the vibration of a cell phone, various different ringtones and notification sounds, and layered fragments of quotidian conversations in different languages. A wash of sound overtakes the track and seems to usher us back in time, focusing now on the click of a rotary phone dial, the clinging of a coin deposited in a pay phone, the closely spaced microtonal intervals of older touch tone keypads, and other anachronistic phone sounds from eras gone by.

Douglas Geers’ Inanna’s Descent for violin and computer revels in airy harmonics, silken tremolos, sul ponticello timbres, and richly textured bow techniques to paint a sound portrait of the ancient Sumerian goddess Inanna’s journey into the underworld. Subtle environmental sounds in the electronics reinforce the underworld setting, before tragedy and betrayal strike, sending the work into a torrential passage.

John Gibson’s Blue Traces for piano and live electronics takes the bioluminescence of underwater plankton as its inspiration, creating a glowing trail of pitch from the piano in the electronics processing. The brilliant and expansive voicings in the piano reinforce the sense of being underwater, before an ending section introduces more rhythmic activity into the processing and the piano part.

Mark Wingate’s Welcome to Medicare! brings us back into the quixotic world of telecommunication, this time through the lens of a Kafkaesque automated speech system for Medicare. Wingate’s clever and sardonic collage brings the listener through a journey with which too many of us are all too familiar, shaping the trajectory of an infuriating call to address healthcare issues. Wingate humorously processes familiar automated phrases using various electro-acoustic techniques, transforming them into contoured, harmonized melodies doubled by recorded instruments and set to easy going grooves. In the process, he manages to momentarily transform the hellish vortex of navigating automated calls into something to laugh about.

Elainie Lillios’ Nostalgic Visions for piano and live electronics is inspired by García Lorca texts and expresses the duality between past and present in the poem by establishing material both on the piano keyboard and inside the piano. The piece traverses a wide range of material, from virtuoso flourishes and dramatic left hand rumbling tremolos, to ominous muted passages and disembodied bell-like passages doubled with shimmering electronics. The piece reaches a furious climax, with waves of electronic sound crashing over piano tremolos and wild figuration.

– Dan Lippel

Produced by SEAMUS

Remastered by Scott A. Wyatt at the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios

Original graphic design by David Colley, revised design by Mark Hileman

Arthur Campbell

Internationally acclaimed clarinetist, Arthur Campbell, has toured extensively throughout the U.S., Canada, Europe, and Asia; enjoys a celebrated solo recording career; and has won numerous international awards. Commenting on his Merkin Hall concerto debut, The New York Times described Campbell as "the eloquent soloist". Campbell's recording of music by Johannes Brahms, on the German audiophile label Audite, won critic's choice awards in Belgium, France, and Spain, and garnered rave reviews in the U.S. and internationally. Campbell's commitment to new music is sincere and ongoing.

Robert Seaback

Robert Seaback (b. 1985) is a guitarist and composer who has worked in a variety of styles. His most recent focus has been on electroacoustic compositions that incorporate traditional instruments with precomposed electronic sound. He holds a B.S. in Music Technology from Northeastern University and a Master of Arts in Composition from Mills College. His principal instructors have included Mike Frengel, Ron Bruce Smith, John Bischoff, and Roscoe Mitchell. Robert's electroacoustic music has been presented internationally, and in 2011, he was awarded First Prize in the ASCAP/ SEAMUS Student Commission Competition.

Scott A. Wyatt

Scott A. Wyatt, composer and Professor of Composition, is also the Director of the University of Illinois Experimental Music Studios. His compositions include works for voice, acoustic instruments, electronically-synthesized sound, and computer-generated sound for various applications from theater and dance, to radio, television, film, and indoor/outdoor laser presentations. Among numerous awards which he has received, Scott Wyatt was the winner of the 1984 International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music Grand Prize, the 1984 Concorso Internazionale Luigi Russolo Competition, a 1986 University Scholar Award, a 1989 finalist in the International Electro-Acoustic Music Competition in Bourges, several artist fellowships, and a 1990 Arnold Beckman Research Award for the development of digital timescaling applications in music composition. His compositions are available on CENTAUR, Library of Congress, MARK, OFFICE, and VERIATZA Records. He currently serves as President of SEAMUS.

Maja Cerar

Violinist Maja Cerar graduated with honors from the Conservatory Winterthur-Zürich, Switzerland and studied further with Dorothy DeLay and Kurt Nikkanen in New York. Her repertoire ranges from the Baroque to the present, and her stage experience includes performance with live electronics, dance and theater. She earned her Ph.D. in Historical Musicology at Columbia University, where she is currently an Adjunct Assistant Professor.

Kati Gleiser

Canadian pianist, composer and singer Kati Gleiser has performed at the Kennedy Center, on NPR and appeared on an earlier Music from SEAMUS CD. She completed her doctorate at Indiana University in 2014 under the world-renowned pianist/pedagogue Menachem Pressler and returned from teaching at FaceArt Internations in Shanghai.

Mark Wingate

Mark Wingate is a composer on the faculty of Florida State University. He holds a doctorate in composition from the University of Texas where he studied with Russell Pinkston, Dan Welcher, Stephen Montague, and others. Honors include the Stockholm Electronic Arts Award, the Rome Prize, the "Prix de la Musique Electroacoustique Caractere," Bourges, France, as well as composer fellowships from the Fulbright Program, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Guggenheim Foundation. His electroacoustic works have received international acclaim at new music festivals such as ISCM (International Society for Contemporary Music) World Music Days, Copenhagen and London, the "Warsaw Autumn" International Festival of Contemporary Music, and many others.

Keith Kirchoff

Keith Kirchoff is a pianist and composer who has toured throughout North America and Europe with programs featuring new works for piano and electronics. He's recorded several albums, most recently "The Electro-Acoustic Piano, vol. 1" on Thinking outLOUD Records.

Elainie Lillios

Acclaimed as one of the “contemporary masters of the medium” by MIT Press’s Computer Music Journal, Elainie Lillios creates works that reflect her fascination with listening, sound, space, time, immersion, and anecdote. Her compositions include stereo, multi-channel, and Ambisonic fixed media works, instrument(s) with live electronics, collaborative experimental audio/visual animations, and installations. Elainie’s work has been recognized through awards, grants, and commissions from leading organizations including the Fromm Foundation, Barlow Endowment, Fulbright Scholar Program, Concours Internationale de Bourges, Areon Flutes International Competition, Electroacoustic Piano International Competition, Destellos Foundation, Concurso Internacional de Música Electroacústica de São Paulo, Concorso Internazionale Russolo, Pierre Schaeffer Competition, and others. Reviews of Elainie’s compact disc Entre Espaces (Empreintes DIGITALes) praise her work for being “... elegantly assembled, and immersive enough to stand the test of deep listening” and as “...a journey not to be missed.” Other works are published by Centaur, Innova, MSR Classics, Ravello, StudioPANaroma, La Muse en Circuit, New Adventures in Sound Art, SEAMUS, Irritable Hedgehog and Leonardo Music Journal. Elainie serves Director of Composition Activities for SPLICE and as Professor of Creative Arts Excellence at Bowling Green State University in Ohio.

Benjamin Broening

Benjamin Broening's music couples his interest in the expressive power of sound with a sense of line derived from his background as a singer. He has written many works on commission (Zeitgeist, Charlotte Symphony, Choral Arts Society of Philadelphia) and received numerous awards (Fulbright, Jerome, Mellon and Presser Music Foundations). Recombinant Nocturnes, a disc of his piano music, was recently released on Innova. Other music has been released by Ensemble U: in Estonia, as well by Centaur, everglade, Equilibrium, MIT Press, and SEAMUS. He holds degrees from the University of Michigan, Cambridge University, Yale University, and Wesleyan University.

Douglas Geers

Douglas Geers is a composer who works extensively with technology in composition, performance, and multimedia collaborations. Geers studied composition and computer music at Columbia University with Tristan Murail, Fred Lerdahi, Brad Garton, and Jonathan D. Kramer. He now teaches at the City University of New York.

John Gibson

John Gibson is Assistant Professor of Composition at the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music.

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