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Robert Edgar - Electro-Acoustic Music: The Duchamp Examinations

Robert Edgar rbedgar@stanford.edu www.robertedgar.com


The Duchamp Prelude 3:32
Duchamp Examination #10 16:56
Klesmer Surfers 1:44
Painted Music 3:39
Inquisitions 6:33
She Closes the Drapes 2:37
If Duchamp Drew Beautifully 3:25

robert-edgarRobert composed the "Duchamp Examinations" for:

Roland GR-33 MIDI guitar synthesizer
Boomerang Phrase Sampler
Metasonix TM-2 Vacuum-tube dual bandpass filter
Sonar 3 software
VSampler 3 software
Lyric samples

Photo by Hong Waltzer

Robert's "Duchamp Examination" is a demonstration of how a composer can dissect, examine and re-produce a precomposed (but not prerecorded) piece through a combination of analog and digital mastication and redigestion, in real-time solo performance before an audience. Duchamp might have said "Bob chews his cud".

"The Duchamp Prelude" is a kind of electronic alapana, in which Robert explores the chordal sequence of the source piece "If Duchamp Drew Beautifully" through an overdriven TM-2 bandpass filter. For "The Duchamp Examination" Robert plays and sings the source piece into the Boomerang section by section, further using the Boomerang as an insert editor to advance the composition by displacing the recorded segments with live musical phrases and lyric samples, not so much triggered as expressed and modulated in real time using the combination of MIDI guitar, synthesizer control pedals, and the VSampler 3 software.

"Klesmer Surfers" was produced to explore the sounds of a prototype Metasonix "Super Phattytron" Vacuum-Tube Synthesizer. Where Robert grew up, he surfed and played guitar with his friend (and now Rabbi) Pinchas Giller. This track is Robert's homage; he leaves it to others to perform an ethno-episiotomy on the Lebonese influence of Dick Dale on the sales of Fender amplifiers.

"Painted Music" was composed with Colin Nancarrow's incredible compositions in mind's ear.

"Inquisitions" is composed around texts from Francisco Pareja's 1613 Confessionario. This text was used to question the Florida native Timucua Indians about their heathen practices. "For someone who is sick, have you made a separate light of fire? Have you whistled to a storm, believing it would stop?" According to translator Jerald T. Milanich, the Timucua, who had existed as early as 5000 B.C., were destroyed in fewer than 200 years after meeting the inquisitive Spanish explorers.

"She Closes the Drapes" again features the Metasonix TM-2. It is a short movie, about the end of the world as seen through a strategically-placed shoebox with a diorama hole cut out using rounded scissors.

"If Duchamp Drew Beautifully" is the source composition for the first two tracks on this album. Robert often sings this song to open-mic audiences who have heard of neither Tim Buckley nor Erik Satie.

The thing about bridges
Is you know
you'll descend on
the other side.
The thing about life is…ya know…
It's a bridge.

While the shortest path between
us is a straight line
Only factory workers move from
day to day, that way.

The thing about chance
Is ya know
A lifetime of dice rolls
Never produced a single 3-chord blues.
The thing about chance is… ya know…
It's a cage.

And a computer can draw
a mechanical line
Or one flowing between thin and thick
Finally rising like some heaven-headed sign.

The thing about youth
Is …ya know
It so often confuses
meaning with truth
The thing about aging is… ya know…
It's a life.

If Duchamp drew beautifully
His waterfall would descend wetly.
If Duchamp drew beautifully
His waterfall would descend wetly.
...if Duchamp drew beautifully.

This CD is a CDR in a full-sized jewel case.

For more information, please visit this products webpage.
This product was added to our catalog on Monday 10 July, 2006.
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