Martin Parker

First gruntDump for bass clarinet

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I just spent an exciting morning making noise with ace-clarinettist Peter Furniss. We were preparing the bass clarinet edition of GruntCount.

Pete is an extremely willing improviser so it was very easy to stretch the system and get some new, filthy settings for our concert in the Reid Concert Hall on the 13th March 2012.

The computer processing in GruntCount is fairly gritty (one of the reasons for its title) and this seems to work very well with the rich colours Pete can produce. The way we worked this morning was to take each voice of the processing system in turn and establish a series of settings that we thought worked well. We also got as far as finding some mixes of the different voices and parameters but have still to find a musical structure that makes sense of the wide variety of sounds that Peter can produce in combination with the software.
One of the features of GruntCount is that it can be scaled to fit different contexts. Depending upon what else is in the programme, it can be a long blow, full of atmosphere and tension, or it can be more flamboyant and short. As we’re preparing this for a concert featuring Stravinsky, Musgrave, Reich and a recent piece by Alex Harker called Fluence, we’re going for something in between the two. We’re hoping to give the audience’s ears a bit of a blast but should also show some of the reactive twists and turns the electronics can take.

The concert is a University lunchtime event, starting at 1:10pm in the Reid Concert Hall, the gig is free.

Here’s a rough snippet or two from the system as it sounds today (20th Jan 2012);

Please note, these are rough mixes from a draft session, certainly not the finished piece as you’ll hear it in concert.