The Wired Goddess and Her Trombone
Abbie Conant's Project for the Trombone,
Electronics and Computer
The purpose of The Wired Goddess and Her Trombone project was to explore the theme of the goddess and further a repertoire for solo trombone and electronics that can be performed by college-age trombonists. The spirit is one of practicality, similar to Hindemiths Gebrauchsmusik. Often works are simply too difficult to play and or realize and thus receive one or two performances and die. With this project I wanted to help composers create repertoire pieces that stick around, even if technology marches on.
The thematic focus of these works centered loosely around the theme of the return of the Goddess, the balancing of the Feminine in us all. Possible points of departure included Goddesses and their past and present aspects.
The compositions included composers quite prominent in the field such as Pauline Oliveros, David Jaffe, Elizabeth Hoffman, Maggie Payne, and Chris Brown. Where possible, workrf with each composer tp create a true exchange and interaction during the compositional gestation period. The work of partnerships and collaboration was especially in the spirit of this project. Premieres took place in the U.S and Germany.
Southwest German State Radio (Sudwestfunk) broadcast a 14 minute report on my Wired Goddess Concert of November 27, 2000 at the Trossingen Musik Hochschule. Click here to see a transcription in German.
Click here to see the review in VivaVoce. (In German.)
Works Composed for this project
(including some sound files):
ROBERT BELCASTRO -- "What Is A Modern Goddess" for trombone and tape. A collage of sounds and interviews about he modern meaning of the goddess processed with the software SoundHack.
JORGE BOEHRINGERHows to Use the Trombone as a Snorkel for trombone, video and delay line. A multi-media work alluding to the Sirens of Greek mythology and the fog horns of the San Francisco Bay.
CHRIS BROWNTime Bomb: Four Poems by Mina Loy for Trombone and Interactive Electronics. The four poems are from Mina Loys late work, a collection entitled Compensations of Poverty. The instrumentalist controls with her pitch and volume the granular playback of recordings she made speaking the four poems. An interaction develops between the acoustic sound and the electronic sound it engenders. The trombone speaks the poems.
ABBIE CONANT -- Rachel's Lament for trombone and video with surround sound. Abbie overdubbed four vocal parts and four trombone parts to create the score. The video is comprised of images from the bombings of Hiroshima Nagasaki.
See program notes and a video. (15:36 min.)
ABBIE CONANT and MATTHEW WRIGHTGarden of Earthly Delights for trombone and interactive electronics on a text by Czeslaw Milosz. The program Max MSP is controlled by a WACOM board to trigger and transform a prerecorded recitation of the poem and samples of the trombone.
Listen to Garden of Earthy Delights. (6:56 min.)
CINDY COX -- "Hysteria" for trombone and two track tape. Hysteria is the Greek word for womb. The text by the composer's poet husband, John Campion, explores the meaning of the word in several languages and provides the basis for this highly dramatic and profound work which was composed with ProTools and Audioscuplt.
Listen to Hysteria. (8:38 min.)
NANCY KENNAN DOWLIN -- "Love Song Without Words" for trombone and guitar. A Work as gorgeously beautiful as it is simple.
ELIZABETH HOFFMANN -- "The Elderberry Goddess" for trombone, narrator and two track playback. An updated version of Hans Christian Anderson's fairytale composed with C-sound on a text by the composer's husband, Jim Labe. William Osborne has created a video to go with Elizabeth's music using still images created by digital artist Norbert Bach. (Norbert, where are you? Please contact us.)
DAVID JAFFE -- "Impossible Animals" for trombone and quadraphonic tape. The virtuosic song of a winter wren is transformed to the sound of a human voice using the program Chant. The result mixes beautifully with the trombone.
ANNE LEBARON -- "Sauger" for trombone and quadraphonic tape. Written for Abbie Conant, who played an active part in the realization of the piece, “Sauger” joins an instrument that is blown with an appliance that sucks. Both the title and the music of “Sauger” play with the multi-dimensional, and often conflicting, attitudes toward domesticity, housework, and entrapment. Raw source materials used in Sauger are simply a vacuum cleaner and, occasionally, a food processor. Internal rhythms from the sucking sounds of the vacuum determine more external rhythmic phrases, which are contrasted with and extended by a drum track. The work was composed using Pro Tools and a Kurzweil 2000 synthesizer.
KRISTIN MILTNER-- Untitled, a multi-media work for trombone, accordion, and cello, and three video monitors.
PAULINE OLIVEROS--The Heart of Tones for trombone and 2 oscillators. Oliveros continues her study of the smallest elements (the quantums) of musical change.
WILLIAM OSBORNE--Music for the End of Time for trombone and quadraphonic tape. A 52 minute work in six movements based on the the Book of Revelation.
A Door Was Opened In Heaven
The Sea of Glass
The III. Four Horsemen
It Were of a Trumpet Talking (7:56 min.)
White Beast (14:55)
VI. A Woman Clothed With the Sun (8:01 min.)
MAGGI PAYNEHum 2 for live trombone and 7-track tape. Each autumn the Japanese goddess Tatsuta-Hime wove a beautiful multicolored tapestry, then incarnated herself as wind and blew her own work to shreds. The seven-track tape is a prerecorded overdub of seven additional trombone parts played on a seven speaker Surround-Sound system. Maggi's program notes for Hum2 are here.
Listen to Hum 2. (7:07) (Stereo version.)
BEN PIEKUT-- Situated Knowledges for trombone, slide projections, and tape.
ALEX POTTSThe Secret Waits for trombone and interactive electronics. An improvisatory work using the software Super Collider which incorporates the programs ability to spawn granular operations to transform the soloists soft playing, whispering, and glissandi.
ANNA RUBIN -- "Landmine" for trombone and tape. A mix of synthesizer music and fragments of recorded verbal comments about landmines and war.
Listen to Landmine.
Part 1. (2:52 min.)
Part 4. (2:33 min.)
Part 6. (3:02 min.)