The Man in the Macintosh
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The Man In The Macintosh is an electro-acoustic work scored for Flute, Clarinet, Violin, Violoncello, Piano, and Processed Sound. While writing, my focus was on the unity of sound between the live players and the electronic component, as well as the interplay between the two media. The title refers to one of the many, fleeting images experienced in the hallucinatory episode of James Joyce’s Ulysses. In the Joyce text, passing thoughts spring to life before the main characters, Bloom and Stephen. Because of their intoxicated state, the protagonists have difficulty separating fantasy from reality. At times, the fantasies overwhelm the primary characters, and direct the main course of action. I took the interaction between real and imaginary characters as a starting point. The tape begins by echoing the ensemble, resonating the musical ideas. Eventually, the processed sound overtakes the ensemble, both in terms of musical ideas and in sheer volume. Here, the tape takes on a new role, introducing musical materials that the ensemble imitates. The Man In The Macintosh was written in late 1996 and early 1997, for the InterEnsemble of Padua, Italy.

The tape part for the 13 minute piece was realized at the BEAMS (Brandeis Electro-Acoustic Music Synthesis) computer lab, and makes use of processed sounds sampled from those instruments in the ensemble. The BEAMS studio uses many commercially available programs and hardware, including the Kyma Workstation, Sound Forge, and Cakewalk.