U (The Cormorant) U (The Cormorant) was composed between February and May of 1991. In January of that year, like everyone else, I saw pictures of cormorants in the Persian Gulf trying to shake the oil off their bodies. A constant feeling of urgency about the global environment, and probably my reflections on the subject effected the piece. The form of this piece is quasi-palindromic, imitating the shape of the letter U. The core materials are simple, but they evolve and
transform as the piece develops. I always have a vision of me and my violin stepping out from the usual boundaries, extending the aural experience into an unknown dimension. I imagine kinds of sounds that I usually do not identify with myself playing the violin. These sounds seem to me as transformations of my violin sounds. I try to merge the timbre and the movement of the sounds of my violin with the electronic sounds very carefully. Electronic sounds are created using YAMAHA IG// synthesizer. U was performed at International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) 1992 in San Jose, and included in the ICMC Compact Disk.
Etude II [for Zeta violin and Interactive Computer System (1994)] “Etude” is a series of works for Zeta violin and interactive computer systems. As a performer/ composer from the traditional classical background, I have been exposed to the completely new ways of thinking and feeling in computer music. It is a new kind of musical intuition in performance that I am developing working with computers. Sometimes I find myself letting the computer to “lead” me almost like a partner in chamber music, although I am alone and always the one to give the “input”. I personally enjoy this partnership between my traditional violin playing with interactive computer systems. As in “Etude I” which was created and performed at the Banff Centre for the Arts, “Etude II” also explores the collaboration between my violin playing and the interactive computer system Max. The synthesized sounds are responding to what I am playing, according to what I have previously programmed. There are phrases that have to be started by a specific note I play within a specific time-frame; some score-following; transposed sounds at specific time-frame, etc.
Etude II was written especially for ISEA’94. I would like to thank Zeta Music Inc. for the loan of Zeta violin and IVL pitch tracker.
- Mari Kimura After graduating from Toho school of Music in Japan with honors in violin performance, Mari Kimura came to the U.S. and was invited to participate in the Tanglewood Music Center as a fellow. Ms. Kimura attended Boston University to earn
her Master’s degree, then she received her doctoral degree in performance from Juilliard in May, 1993. Ms. Kimura studied composition with Mario Davidovsky at Columbia University. She was a visiting scholar at the center for Computer Research in Music and acoustics (CCRMA) at Stanford University. Her doctoral thesis for Juilliard is entitled “Performing electronic and computer – Some aspects of performance problems in relation with room acoustics.”Ms. Kimura has given numerous Japanese premieres of contemporary compositions. As a composer, she has developed extended technique on the violin, including “subharmonies” which she uses in her own work for solo violin.