Kirk O’Riordan

composer | conductor | saxophonist

electro-acoustic compositions

Shades for Fixed Media and iTunes Visualizer(2017) 8’

Shades uses the DSI Prophet-12 and several Arturia V Collection plugins...notably the Synclavier V and Matrix-12.




Texture Study #3 for Guitar/E-bow (2017) 8’

Texture Study #3 was composed using an electric guitar and an ebow. All the effects are created in a Boss ME-80 pedalboard, and recorded directly to Logic Pro.




Incidental Music from "Metamorphoses" for Alto Saxophone and Playback (2017) 32’

I. Introduction
II. Theme
III. Variation 1
IV. Variation 2
V. Variation 3
VI. Interlude
VII. Variation 4
VIII. Variation 5

Incidental Music from "Metamorphoses" was commissioned by the Lafayette College Department of Theater for performances of Mary Zimmerman's play. Six performances were given: the first was April 20, 2017--it was given in the Dan Weis Theater on the campus of Lafayette College.

The play is a re-telling of several of the famous scenes from Ovid's Metamorphoses. The scenes all deal with transformation in some way...it seemed a natural fit to use a Theme and Variations form for this piece. There is an Introduction and and Interlude as well: these two sections are composed using a classical 12-tone language, while the Theme and Variations are derived from a tonal melodic motive. As the variations develop, though, I tried to make them sound more and more like the atonal language of the other sections.




Somewhere I Have Never Traveled for Alto Saxophone and Playback (2016) 9’

Somewhere I Have Never Traveled was composed in November and December 2015 and premiered on March 4, 2016. I gave the first performance.

The title is taken from an e.e. cummings poem, and it seems appropriate to me given that this is the first piece I have composed with this instrumentation.

Somewhere makes extensive use of live processing, which is controlled via automation in Logic Pro. The piece is in ABA form: the A sections are rhapsodic, cadenza-like; the B section is after, and built from several layers of obstinate.

This performance is a studio recording.




gretchen for Synthesizers and Playback (2015) 9’

gretchen is out of my normal compositional wheelhouse…very much influenced by popular music--particularly that of Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode--it aims to juxtapose those popular style characteristics with a rigorous attention to form: the piece is in a strict ABA form with a coda.

The text is Goethe's Gretchen am Spinnarde, as set by Franz Schubert. It was "read" by a text-to-speech app on my iPad, and processed heavily.

Rehearsal video




planet nine for Alto Saxophone and Live Processing (2016) 12’

planet nine is an improvisatory work for alto saxophone and live processing. This performance was recorded live on March 4, 2016 at the Williams Center for the Arts in Easton, PA. Kirk O'RIordan, saxophone.

This is the second performance: from the Robb Composers Symposium at the University of New Mexico, March 2017.




Orbits for Synthesizers, iPad, Ukulele, and Guitar (2016) 12’

Orbits is an improvisatory work for synthesizers, iPad, guitar (with a looper pedal) and ukulele. It was composed in collaboration with Jorge Torres, who is performing the guitar and ukulele parts on this performance.

This was recorded live on March 4, 2016 at the Williams Center for the Arts at Lafayette College.




Flare for Synthesizers and Marimba (2016) 12’

Flare is an improvisatory work for synthesizers and marimba. The work was composed in collaboration with Larry Stockton, who is performing the marimba part in this performance.

This was recorded live on March 4, 2016 at the Williams Center for the Arts on the campus of Lafayette College.




Texture Study #2 for Fixed Media (2015) 9’

Texture Study #2 was composed in seven layers, one for each pitch class in the c natural minor scale. Each track has only one pitch class, and each layer was recorded independently of the others--without hearing the previously recorded tracks.

The sounds (one sound, actually) was made on a DSI Prohpet-12. It is basically a square wave, but with a hint of sawtooth and triangle added for smoothness. All of the dynamic contrasts are written into the sound itself with the envelope generator.

It is important to note that there is no modulation on the original sound: all of the vibrating effects come from resultant vibration. There is also no mixing or other processing, with the exception of a bit of stereo spread enhancement.




Texture Study #1 for Fixed Media (2015) 6’

Texture Study #1 was composed entirely on a Dave Smith Instruments Prophet-12 Synthesizer. It is a composite of five layers, each recorded independently of the others. The piece makes extensive use of pedal tones, filter sweeps, and other non-pitched real time controls.




deep sea for EWI, Synthesizer, and Fixed Media (2015) 22’

Video:

deep sea is a large-scale work which explores the timelessness of the ocean's great depths. The work is in three movements: the first, "blue," is an improvised work based on a [0134] pitch set and performed on an Akai EWI-USB playing sounds from Arturia's Jupiter-8 plugin. Movement two, "green," adds some granular textures as well as some other sounds, all of which were recorded in real time from an iPad. The final movement, "black," combines (heavily processed) whale and dolphin sounds with a variety of effects performed on and Ensoniq VFX-SD and a Korg M1. Most of the fixed media components were recorded in real time.






Arpeggiator for Synthesizer, iPad, and Fixed Media (2015) 16’

Video:

Live Audio:

Arpeggiator is in two parts: the first part is improvised and based on a relatively simple development of chord structures. The sounds are built from a 90's-era Ensoniq VFX-SD triggering an arpeggiated (Arturia) iMini patch on the iPad. Part Two follows a related procedure, this time over a sequenced bass line. The sounds for Part Two are Arturia Juptier-8 plugins, this time triggered within Logic Pro. The Introduction to Part One was performed on a Korg M1. The piece was composed to be performed live: it was first performed on Feb. 13, 2015.






1.1 Trance for Fixed Media (2015) 9’

Video:

1.1 Trance represents an attempt to incorporate the influence of music I was immersed in as a youth--"synth pop," as in the music of Depeche Mode, Kraftwerk, and similar bands--into my more "adult" aesthetics. The result is a nearly 10-minute work that is based on an expanded pop song form. Additionally, the piece alludes to dance-music-styled bass lines, and though there are no drum sounds, it would seem that a drum machine would logically fit. That it is not there is a deliberate choice which allows me to emphasize the "concert music" nature of the work as well. 1.1 Trance was originally conceived as a work for fixed media, but was later adapted for live live performance.






beepdotlineslashcurve for Fixed Media (2015) 6’

beepdotlineslashcurve is composed of 25 tracks: five each of beeps, dots, lines, slashes, and curves. Some sounds are processed acoustic percussion sounds, such as bowed cymbals, scraped gongs, etc., while others were generated using a variety of software on an iPad. The individual tracks were recorded in isolation, without hearing the playback of previously recorded tracks: I was hoping to capture spontaneous simultaneities of sonic events.




Rêverie for Fixed Media (2013) 6’

Rêverie is another in a series of pieces in which I attempt to create spontaneous occurrences of sonic events by using Cage-styled aleatoric processes. The sounds were played in real time and recorded one track at a time. Most of the sounds were created using several different iPad applications. The resulting piece is very dream-like…one gets the sensation of floating.




Groovecloud for Fixed Media (2013) 6’

Video: (projected during the February 13 concert)

Groovecloud was created by layering several performances using the Beatwave iPad application. These performances were performed in real time, independently (without hearing the previous tracks). Additional tracks were added, using the Arturia iMini application.




Music for Lines and Spaces for Fixed Media (2013) 7’

Video: (projected during Feb. 13 concert)

Like Third Improvisation, Music for Lines and Spaces came about during my initial attempts at learning Logic Pro. I recorded each track in real time, and experimented with different processing and mixing techniques.




Third Improvisation for Fixed Media (2013) 7’

Video: (projected during Feb. 13 concert)

Third Improvisation was my first attempt at recording, editing, and processing in Logic Pro. Aesthetically, I hoped to create electronic music that while not emulating acoustic instruments, treated electronic sounds in an orchestral way. To accomplish this, I decided to write pieces that were recorded using live performance and that incorporated a lot of improvisation. In short, I hoped to counteract the "inhuman" aspects of electronic music by creating them with the inherently "human" elements of live performance and spontaneous composition.


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234 Williams Center for the Arts
Lafayette College
Easton, Pennsylvania
18042

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Copyright © 2016 by Kirk O’Riordan. All rights reserved.