Machine Language is a collection of six recent chamber works by the American composer/violinist, Dan Trueman. Trueman’s music is a sensuous and hypnotic blend of instrumental sound, subtly transformed through the use of computer applications. Quirky, sweet natured, and always texturally transparent, these six compositions herald a distinctly post-modern American voice, at once harmonically and rhythmically sophisticated, yet possessing an almost folk-like directness of expression. In Counterfeit Curio the “old noisy recording” which ends the piece is in fact a fake, and the tune it holds is in fact original, and grows out of the music that precedes it. Traps is a delicate exploration of a simple computer process, where the computer memorizes and transposes selected music from the gentle and sustained string writing. In Machine Language, the longest piece on this CD, wispy but insistent figures very gradually morph into gently swinging lines in what the composer calls, “geological, as opposed to computational swiftness.” Spring Rhythm was inspired by two disparate sources: the medieval motet and the famous “spatter” paintings of Jackson Pollock. Still was completed on 9/11/01, and was premiered just north of the WTC the following month. Trueman writes: “I went as close to the site as I could that evening. While not normally prone to paranormal thinking, I found it eerie that the musical ideas I was dealing with – continuity vs. discontinuity, slowly descending, vanishing gestures, recollection, disintegration, senses of place – were so overwhelmingly at work that day.” A Cappella is a short, intimate piece, and was inspired both by the sheer beauty of a cappella vocal ensembles and by the abstract texture of some electronic music.
Anna Lim, violin; Dan Trueman, electric violin; Arash Amini, cello; Danny Tunick, percussion
the Daedalus String Quartet, with Dan Trueman, electric violin/laptop
Non Sequitur, with Dan Trueman, electric violin/laptop
the Brentano String Quartet
Courtney Orlando, violin; Dan Trueman, electric violin/laptop; Florent Renard-Payen, cello
the Tarab Cello Ensemble