CalArts Halloween

Made it down to the Los Angeles area this weekend, where I attended this years CalArts Halloween Bash. Despite the party being a bit on the lame side, I did have a great time. Probably because I ran into an old friend, Johnny Chang, whom I hadn’t seen since graduating in 2002. We did a lot of catching up, and we’re already talking about collaborating on a new project.

I also got a chance to talk with CalArts Bob about the heightened state of security this year. Guards everywhere. Seems like the traditional loose nature of CalArts culture might finally be tightening up after all these years. These events used to be infamous for their outgoing hedonistic tone. So much so, that one year way back in the past, the town successfully stopped the Halloween party from happening. Well, a lot of good that did them. That spring, CalArts threw a new type of party, the Erotic Ball. CalArts now throws two parties a year.

Personal Log Stardate 60278.1

Csound Instr

I’ve recently started the painstaking process of compiling all of my compositions into one cohesive online portfolio. Already, I’ve discovered I’ve lost some older works. Oops! The butterflies are nibbling at my stomach as I type. My hope is that some of the people I’ve collaborated with in the past have copies. There is always the possibility that one or two pieces exist in an archive at CalArts. But I’m going to have to face the reality that some of my works are forever lost…

The blunt of the project should take me about two weeks. After which, I will slowly add to the collection. I have a few papers and tutorials I’ve written I will eventually include, though the priority for now is the music. I want to note that I’m re-releasing most of these works under a Creative Commons license. I subscribe to the philosophy that putting too many restraints on art can kill the art. Creative Commons allows me to free my music so that it might someday find an audience, and hopefully inspire derivative works.

James Tenney Remembered 1934-2006

I just learned this morning that my CalArts Professor, James Tenney, passed away in August of this year.

I remember the first day of class with him. James mentioned that when people asked what kind of music he wrote, he would sometimes respond with, “I write unpopular music.” I have since used that line many times myself.

One of my favorite works of his is For Ann (rising), a process music composition featuring an endless rising glissando. This glissando is similar to Jean-Claude Risset’s. In my opinion, Tenney’s is more musically interesting, and the illusion of the glissando is much more transparent.

James is also one of the performers in Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Kontakte, which is featured on Ohm: The Early Gurus of Electronic Music.

James, you will be missed.