Friday, May 27, 2011

Electric Mahabharata

As I'm typing this, I'm sending out the files, to CF Peters, for my piece "I'll Have an Electric Mahabharata, Please."  Yes, the piece with the truly wonky title is getting published by CF Peters.  I know I announced this on Facebook a month or so ago, but now I'm delivering the goods. 

Okay, this is a work for cello and electronics. You can hear it here - scroll down, and there's a link to the MP3 (and a PDF, which I'll need to remove soon).  All the electronics are real-time processing of the cello, and some of the sounds are quite elaborate.  The piece is normally done with a 4-channel sound system, so the sound swirls around the audience.

The title - comes from the idea that I had to turn the cello into a sitar.  Well, not literally.  If you look at a sitar, it has 6 (or 7) playable strings, and then around 15 sympathetic strings that give it its characteristic ringing sound.   I took the idea of the sympathetic strings and made that the basis for the electronic part.  I constructed a few virtual resonant strings and placed them in the electronic 'environment'; as the cellist plays, the sound is routed through those strings and a bunch of other effects.  There's even a computer 'cadenza', where one pluck is answered by hundreds of plucks generated by the computer.

Here's the only dilemma I have with the piece: I'm only able to produce a Mac OS version of the software.  Since I created it in 2003, it looks like some of the components are obsolete or were never transferred to the Windows version of Max.  I'm hoping to construct a Windows version, but I don't know how much time it will take - or if I'll eventually get it to work....

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