[ISEA97] Artist Statement: Bruce Mahin – GALILEO

Artist Statement

For electronic wind instrument, interactive computer and synthesizers.

During his lifetime, Galileo’s theories about the earth as a celestial body revolving around the sun put into question many of the doctrines supported at the time by the Catholic church. One such doctrine placed man as a divine creature living on an earth residing at the center or the universe. The suggestion that the earth might actually be one of many celestial bodies circling the sun put into question some of the “literal” explantions held by the church and, therefore resulted in the scientist taking severe adominitions from the papal powers. The mathematician’s struggle to stand firm in his beliefs lasted the whole of his life until he, under great duress, recanted the theories and promised to deny their validity in published works. Using the life of Galileo as a point of inspiration, this work examines the nature of exploration and discovery as an exciting, often dangerous, enterprise. In this piece, the performer plays a written score, the computer follows along, makes musical decisions, and performs its own accompaniment using algorithms in real time. Galileo was composed while the composer worked at Glasgow University (Scotland) on an honorary research fellowship in 1996.

  • Bruce Mahin (U.S.A.)┬áhas been Associate Professor of Music and Director of the Radford University Center for Music Technology since 1989. He has performed throughout the United States and in Europe, most recently as a research fellow at Glasgow University (Scotland). His acoustic music is available on the Capstone label as Shadows (CPS-8611) and music for interactive computer and performer is available on Time Chants (CPS-8624). Mahin received degrees from West Virginia University, Northwestern University and the Peabody Conservatory of The Johns Hopkins University. radford.edu/content/cvpa/home/music/faculty/bruce-mahin.html