divine the rest

    In "divine the rest," written for and dedicated to the NYC-based NOW Ensemble, I try to generate serendipity through the interweaving of human expression and computer operations. NOW Ensemble plays minimally notated pitch material-single notes, dyads, chords, but no rhythms-according to a variety of strategies I describe in prose instructions. Their playing responds to the ever-changing sonic environments the Max patch creates through the manipulation of field recording samples, drones, fleeting sine-tone melodies, and fragments of spoken text. The texts themselves are generative: I recorded hundreds of nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs (most culled from an essay by Miguel de Unamuno) that Max assembles into extemporaneous utterances according to certain grammatical rules. The multivalent title "divine the rest" was itself derived from this vocabulary.
    The strange, ambiguous texts combine with the electronic material and NOW's sensitive performance to construct a soundworld seemingly governed by the peculiar logic of dreams. With its indifference to motivic development and narrative arc, one moment in "divine the rest" melts into another like so many episodes during REM sleep. The experience of listening to this music will be, I hope, something like remembering music heard in a dream.