Clarinet and Four Oscillators

Clarinet and tape
1998 / 8'56"

Clarinet and Four Oscillators was premiered on 11/06/1999 by Stephan Neubauer at Alte Schmiede, Vienna.

The initial idea and motivation to compose Clarinet and Four Oscillators came from the musical idea presented at the composition’s beginning: The drop of a fifth followed by a steady pulse shifting between clarinet and sine-generator. Out of this arose what might be described as the piece’s main conceptual theme – the temporal horizon of listener prediction and the composer’s role in influencing it. Clarinet and Four Oscillators is an inquiry into the level of influence the composer yields over the listener’s ability to project specific meaning and thus it is an inquiry into the amount of influence the composer yields over the recipient’s level of structural listening. This is achieved by carefully scaling the amount of gestural, teleological content and ‘causal’ development presented.

As the work’s nucleus this descending fifth led to a reduction of the technical as well as sonic complexity to a bare minimum. The goal was to keep full control over all parameter changes and individual sonic events. Electronically produced sounds more complex than single sines were individually tuned by hand. At the beginning of the composition, electronic sounds are produced exclusively by two sine-generators in a simple amplitude modulation set-up. The later parts of the piece use four sine-generators in additive synthesis. For each of the additive synthesis chords in the last part of the composition, the frequencies and amplitudes of each of a chord’s four-sine generators were adjusted manually and by ear. The process of composing Clarinet and Four Oscillators did not follow any predefined plan, map or goal, but developed following a search for ways of leaving behind static repetition. It playfully researches methods of establishing accepted progression and examines the role listener expectation plays in the creation and perception of linear music.

Published on the CD VLCLEL (Aufstieg AV / AAV 0501)

Listen to

Clarinet and Four Oscillators / MP3 (excerpt)


Score / PDF

Soundfiles for performance