Music Musicology Poetry Gallery

Furies and Voices
Needham Series
1989; 10:26 min.


Furies and Voices comprises three movements, entitled Prelude, Scherzo, and Song, each lasting about three minutes. It owes its title to the progression from an anonymous and at times furious sound stream (highly demanding of speaker systems) to the intimation of human song, intoned in counterpoint with relentlessly moving sound masses.

The human sound quality is illusory as it derives from digitally sampling a trombone sound taken from a performance of In Memory with trombone by Tom Plsek. A description of the compositional process of the piece can be found in Otto Laske: Navigating New Musical Horizons, J. Tabor (Ed.), Greenwood Press, Westport, CT, 1999.

The piece was commissioned by the Center for the Arts, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, B.C., Canada, and is dedicated to Barry Truax. It was first performed during the Colloque "Musique et Assistance Informatique", Marseille, France (1990), and received its first US performance at the 10 th Anniversary Concert of the New England Computer Music Association (1991). The piece appeared on Neuma VI in 1999.