[FISEA’93] Artist Statement: Cort Lippe & John Anderson — Music for Clarinet and IMW

Artists Statement

Music for Clarinet and IMW (IRCAM Musical Workstation) (1993), by Cort Lippe, is a work for clarinet and real-time digital signal processing computer. The computer tracks expressive musical parameters of the clarinet player, including amplitude, pitch, and articulation, and uses this information for continuous control of the digital signal processing. Thus, the performer has an intimate level of musical control over the electronic part. In addition, the musical and sound material for the instrumental and electronic parts are one and the same since all of the electronic sounds originate from the composed clarinet part which is recorded and transformed by the computer in real time during the piece.

Real-time signal analysis of instruments for the extraction of musical parameters gives composers useful information about what an instrumentalist is doing. High-level event detection combining the analyses of frequency, amplitude, and spectral domains can provide rich control signals that reflect subtle changes found in the input signal. This real-time audio signal analysis of acoustic instruments, for the extraction of continuous control signals that carry musically expressive information, can be used to drive signal processing and sound generating modules, and can ultimately provide an instrumentalist with a high degree of expressive control over an electronic score. In addition, compositional algorithms, which also control the signal processin, can themselves be controlled by every aspect of performer input.

The dynamic relationship between performer and musical material, as expressed in the musical
interpretation, can become an important aspect of the man/machine interface for the composer and performer, as well as for the listener, in an environment where musical expression is used to control an electronic score, The richness of compositional infornation useful to the composer is obvious in this domain, but other important aspects exist: compositions can be fine-tuned to individual performing characteristics of different musicians, intimacy between performer and machine can become a factor, and performers can readily sense consequences of their performance and their musical interpretation.

John Anderson, clarinet
Cort Lippe, signal processing

  • Cort Lippe (1953, USA) studied composition with Larry Austin. He spent a year in Florence, Italy, studying ancient music and three years in Utrecht, The Netherlands, at the Insituut voor Sonologie working with G.M. Koenig in the fields of computer and formalized music. Presently he lives in Paris, where he spent three years at the Centre d’Etudes de Mathematique et Automatique Musicales (CEMAMu), directed by Iannis Xenakis, while following Xenakis’ course on formalized music at the University of Paris. For the past six years he has been employed at the Institut de Recherche et Coordination Acoustique/Musique (IRCAM), founded by Pierre Boulez, where he develops real-time musical applications and gives course on new technology in composition. He has followed composition and analysis seminars with various composers including: Boulez, Donatoni, K. Huber, Messiaen, Penderecki, Stockhausen, and Xenakis, and has written for all major ensemble formations. His works have received numerous international composition prizes and have been premiered at major festivals in North and South America, Europe, and the Far East. His music is recorded by ADDA, Apollon, CBS-Sony, CDCM, MIT Press, Harmonia Mundi, and Neuma Records. https://www.cortlippe.com
  • John Anderson is Professor of Clarinet and Head of Woodwinds at the University of Minnesota. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he received his bachelor and master degrees in music from the University of Michigan, and his doctorate from Columbia University in New York. In addition to international recitals of the standard clarinet solo repertoire, Dr. Anderson has become on the the foremost proponents and performers of contemporary music, He has premiered works written specifically for him which involve solo use of the clarinet as well as works involving clarinet and electronic tape, synthesizer or other electronic sound manipoulation. In 1989, he die a four-week solo tour of China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan.