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Chris Brown - Talking Drum
Pogus 21034-2 CD, $14.00 US
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Chris Brown - Talking Drum

Binaural motion recordings composed as a dialogue of distances. Live recordings of music for electronic network music ensemble juxtaposed with location recordings of traditional music and environmental soundscapes. Made in Bali, the Philippines, Turkey, Europe, Cuba and America 1991-99.

This compilation/composition documents nearly a decade of work that began with the recording of dense sonic environments, both 'natural' and urban. Talking Drum is an interactive installation made with four networked laptop computers programmed to explore cyclical polyrhythms in large acoustic spaces. While the performance of the entire system is synchronized by one computer, each computer station generates independent results using genetic-programming algorithms which are affected by acoustic musicians' performances. Each station in the space "grows" its own rhythmic response to the situation, like similar plants growing differently in adjustment to their locations in an environment. The musicians improvise with the rhythms, interacting with the response of the computers they play next to, and the whole is a quartet of these human-machine duets.

This recording compiles moments from these performances, and the recordings that inspired their creation, into one continuous piece. Electronic music is normally thought of as a medium emphasizing unlimited access to timbre - I think this is often over-emphasized, and that, at its best, it changes our experience of space. The traditional African talking drums are played held under the arms so that their laces can be squeezed to change the pitch of the drum-head as rhythms are played. The changing pitches and rhythms imitate patterns of the tonal languages of West Africa, and can be used like musical telephony to communicate over long distances. This recording follows this design, creating conversations between different places, environments, people, rituals, and parties on a global scale.

Chris Brown (b. 1953), composer, pianist, and electronic musician, creates music for acoustic instruments with interactive electronics, for computer networks, and for improvising ensembles. Born and raised in Chicago, he moved to California to study electronic music with Gordon Mumma and composition with William Brooks at Univ. of California/Santa Cruz, and with David Rosenboom at Mills College. He was active early in his career as an inventor and builder of electroacoustic instruments; he has also performed widely as an improvisor and pianist with such groups as "Room" and the "Glenn Spearman Double Trio". In 1986 he co-founded the pioneering computer network music ensemble "The Hub". He is also known for his recorded performances of music by Henry Cowell, Luc Ferrari, and John Zorn. He has received commissions from the Berkeley Symphony, the Rova Saxophone Quartet, the Abel-Steinberg-Winant Trio, the Gerbode Foundation, the Phonos Foundation and the Creative Work Fund. His recent music includes the poly-rhythm installation "Talking Drum", the "Inventions" series for computers and interactive performers, and the radio performance "Transmissions" series, with composer Guillermo Galindo. His 1992 epic electroacoustic work "Lava", for brass, percussion, and electronics is also available on Tzadik. He teaches Composition and Electronic Music at Mills College in Oakland, where he is Co-Director of the Center for Contemporary Music (CCM).

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Cat.# :: Composer(s)
21077
::
Robin Hayward
21075
::
Secluded Bronte
21073
::
Peter Batchelor
21072::Alvin Lucier
21071::Lou Cohen
21070::Brian Chase
21069::Jerry Hunt
21068::If, Bwana
21067 :: Jorge Antunes
21066::Enzo Minarelli
21065::Tensions At The Vanguard
21064 :: Frances White
21063 :: Noah Creshevsky
21062 :: If,Bwana/Trio Scordatura
21061 :: Nate Wooley
21060 :: Leo Kupper
21059 :: Pauline Oliveros/ Francisco López/Doug Van Nort/Jonas Braasch
21058 :: Philip Corner
21057 :: Alvin Lucier
21056 :: Dimitri Voudouris
21055 :: Birds + Machines
21054 :: Kiva
21053 :: César Bolaños
21052 :: Lionel Marchetti & Olivier Capparos
21051 :: Tom Hamilton/
Bruce Eisenbeil
21050 :: Source Records 1-6
21049 :: Noah Creshevsky/ If,Bwana
21048 :: Simon Wickham-Smith
21047 :: Kenneth Gaburo
21046 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21045 :: Annea Lockwood
21044 :: Felix Werder
21043 :: Dimitri Voudouris
21042 :: Nick Didkovsky
21041 :: Montreal Sound Matter
21040 :: Anla Courtis
21039 :: Crawling with Tarts
21038 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21037 :: Hans Otte
21036 :: DIY Canons
21035 :: Band/Myers
21034 :: Chris Brown
21033 :: Tom Johnson
21032 :: Roger Reynolds
21031 :: Trios - Collaboration
21030 :: Beth Anderson
21029 :: Hamilton, Silverton, Margolis
21028 :: Warren Burt
21027 :: Jorge Antunes
21026 :: David Dunn
21025 :: Roger Reynolds
21024 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21023 :: Pauline Oliveros
21022 :: David Rosenboom
21021 :: Ross Bolleter
21020 :: Kenneth Gaburo
21019 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21018 :: Leo Kupper
21017 :: Robert Rutman
21016 :: Matthew Ostrowski
21015 :: various
21014 :: Rune Linblad
21013 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21012 :: Pauline Oliveros
21011 :: Rune Linblad
21010 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21009 :: Leo Kupper
21008 :: various
21007 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21006 :: Trigger
21005 :: Big City Orchestra
IB :: If,Bwana
FPM :: Frog Peak Music
CUE :: C.U.E. Records
SOP :: Sound of Pig Cassettes
ANTS :: Ants (Italian Label)
ANIMUL :: Ned Rothenberg
HOMLER :: Anna Homler
OAKSMUS :: oaksmus (German Label)
GD STEREO :: Geoff Dugan
ANOMALOUS :: Anomalous Records
NONSEQUITUR :: Nonsequitur
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