the PortRait series
This is the first series I explored in depth, and as such, probably the least inter-related. The titles are a reference to Joseph Heller's Portrait of an Artist, as an Old Man, which title is of course itself a reference to A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. The connection to these novels is very loose, I just liked the idea of a third person self-portrait. The first of these pieces PortRait of the ArTist,**NYC2001 was written during a fairly depressed and introspective year in my life, so hopefully the navel-gazing can be at least partly excused. I'm really not at all sure whether later entries in the series are even particularly auto-biographical, or indeed what exactly an auto-biographic piece would entail. The series is more defined by instrumentation than anything else.
The weird capitalizations and unnecessary characters in these titles are the first manifestations—later explored more fully in the Palimpsest series—of a strange fascination I have with programming languages and the somewhat related world of L33t 5p33k or "leet-speak." I suppose that this is ultimately just another version of my more general fascination with the symbols we use to communicate, which I discuss quite a bit more in the program section of the page on the BABEL pieces.
As said above, the connection between these pieces is fairly loose. The pieces are, at least so far, always single movements, but share no particular form or motivic ideas. They are, however, always pieces for a soloist with electronic accompaniment—usually pre-recorded, though occassionally live. So far, the solo parts of all of these pieces are written for instruments I play, and, with the exception of (THS) (the seventh PortRait), they have always been performed by me. I suppose this is another manifestation of the auto-biographical theme, but I would actually love to hear someone else's take on the solo parts someday, and don't feel a particular "ownership" of the performance rights.
Another common aspect of these pieces involves the relationship of the performed part and the electronics. In a PortRait piece, the electronic elements are intended to seem like malicious agents—distorting, obscuring, mocking and undercutting the acoustic "protagonist." At least in my mind, this is the only real distinction between PortRait pieces and the few electro-acoustic pieces I've written that don't share the designation.
...with pink scrunchy flowers
h.6 Hurrian Hymn to Nikkal
Anti-Social Wedding Music II
fuzzy wuzzy bears
"N Th Ghtt"
"The Body Wants More Than Skin"
"Pictures from Her Perfect Life"
gumdrops and kittens
PortRait of the ArTist,**NYC2001
Objects Are t
Variations on Mel
Note: There is not currently a third or a sixth PortRait piece, but the ideas I've had for them are good enough that I've reserved the names. In particular, I hope to finally get around to PortRait_3 soon.