for bass drum and computer
composed for Julie Licata
bazss_2.0 is the fourth in a series of pieces focused on the use of a bass. The bazss series began in 2002 and resulted in a fixed media electroacoustic piece. Since that time the source material has been used in a number of my works. At this stage of the bazss series, the piece that resulted was a live interactive work involving a performer and real-time computer processing.
bazss_2.0 is a structured improvisation. The performer is given a series of fragmented music cells to work with as starting points for improvisation. During performance, the performer may also read a series of text prompts to help guide them through the piece. The sonics of the piece are the result of various spectral-based processing techniques. At the core of the work is some basic cross-synthesis. In one section of the piece a variety of oscillator banks are crossed with the sound of the bass drum. The computer can analyze amplitude and frequency information from the bass drum and this information can then be used to control and playback the oscillators. Another section of the piece uses recordings of a poet, riffing on the word bass, and are crossed with the bass drum.
This piece is dedicated to Dr. Julie Licata. She was involved in every step of the composition process and her insight into performance techniques and improvisation were key in the development of this work.