Music Musicology Poetry Gallery

In Memory
Needham Series
1988; 8:16 min.


In Memory is a through-composed composition designed to celebrate my mother's life. Beginning dance-like and vigorously, the piece gradually settles into a more contemplative, reminiscing mood and ends song-like. The piece is based on a manually produced score orchestrated with the aid of D. Walraff's DMX orchestra language.

In writing the score, the composer, having internalized Koenig's Project One, impersonated a computer program, by defining formal progression rules; he acted as his own autonomous "score generator". The rules define the development over time of each the essential musical parameters (instrument, starting time, duration, pitch/register, loudness) independently of each other, as is the case in Project One. The piece itself is the result of mixing, by ear, up to four orchestral versions of one and the same score, sometimes overlapping each other slightly. In this way, virtual counterpoint between orchestral voices is created, in which one and the same voice appears in a different tone color and a different degree of clarity, and sometimes may be submerged entirely.

In Memory was produced in the Swiss Center for Computer Music at Oetwil am See, Switzerland. The post-production was done together with Curtis Roads at Studio Strada, Somerville, MA, USA. I wish to thank both Bruno Spoerri and Curtis Roads for their generous support.