Recording Three Years of Light II
The Latest Update
After months of impossible scheduling collisions, we finished the final mix of the piece.
Many, many thanks to Steve & Jeff at EMPAC, to New Music USA for supporting the project, and of course, to Julia, Russell & Piero!
Listening round 1
After 2 days of recording, we had a short listening session. The EMPAC recording studio is also designd for optimally pristine listening. The panels in the room are canted at irregular intervals to maximize diffusion and minimize focal points. The reel to reel recorder in the back of the room was not actually used for the project…..
Editing is ongoing through June, and we hope to have a finished recording ready by the end of the month.
Lost in a sea of sound
One of the most remarkable things about EMPAC is just how effective the acoustic dampening is. I think it works so well because the hall is so well designed for an even diffusion of sound (…you can’t tell from the photo, but the side walls are convex, and riddled with irregular curves…). I’ve been in many halls that claim to have a variety of acoustic profiles, but the modular banner system in the EMPAC concert hall actually provides an effective change of acoustic profile without distorting in either direction (overly flattened or painfully ringing). We started with the most dampened profile because of all of the percussion involved, and opened the sound as we progressed through the first day of rehearsal.
Julia DenBoer, piano
Two fatastical days of recording
The band convened in the EMPAC concert hall on April 23 & 24 to make the recording (…and make notes about how to make the recording….)
Julia DenBoer, piano
Russell Greenberg & Piero Guimaraes, percussion
Three Years of Light II (for piano and 2 percussion) was written in 2012 and has been performed in San Diego, Los Angeles, Brooklyn, New Jersey, Ohio and Michigan. It was additionally programmed at the 2013 June in Buffalo Festival. I now plan to make a studio recording of it with ECCE (East Coast Chamber Ensemble – John Aylward, Artistic Director). Pianist Julia DenBoer (of ECCE), played the work in all of the public performances except at June in Buffalo, and will record the piece now. The recording will happen in the EMPAC Concert Hall on the campus of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in May 2017.
Funding from New Music USA will go entirely to support ECCE’s involvement in the recording (performer fees and instrument rental). Other recording costs will be provided in kind by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where I am a Sr Lecturer in Music.
This project is part of a larger project to record all of my current chamber music work at EMPAC and issue an album. The violin viola duo “from perfect nowehere” was recorded by andPlay at EMPAC in 2015.
This piece was a significant step forward in my thinking about writing for both piano and percussion. By having one percussionist play exclusively inside the piano (beating, strumming, adding and removing various preparations etc.), the piano and percussion instruments are brought timbrally closer together, hopefully fusing into one “super piano.” The piece is structured as five movements, modeled on Baroque suites with similar aims of exploring the sonic possibilities of an instrument.
Start and End Dates
05/29/2017 — 06/02/2017
Troy, New York