lpd 006: Godfried-Willem Raes: 4 Others

recording: Godfried-Willem Raes & Guy de Bi�vre
CD Mastering: Guy De Bi�vre


Piet Van Bockstal, oboe
Tom Pauwels, guitar
Karin De Fleyt, flute
Andrew De Masi, clavichord
Tomma Wessel, recorder


Godfried-Willem Raes: 4 Others

This album is the first one devoted to compositions of Flanders most outstanding experimental composer Godfried-Willem Raes (b. 1952), written for 'others'. Hence its title. As a matter of fact, quite a large and substantial part of the composer's work was written to be performed either by himself or by the Logos duo (with Moniek Darge) and/or the Logos Ensemble. The reason being that most of these pieces have pretty special requirements making it problematic to have them performed by others: often special instruments made by the composer are used (such as Pneumaphones, his Holosound invisible instrument, or his famous musical automats�). This album brings together a collection of pieces of which most make use of interactive composition software written by the composer for a wintel PC and some more commonly available electronic equipment, such that these pieces can get performances without the intervention of the composer. More information can be found at: www.logosfoundation.org/index-god.html


1. OboTek (Piet Van Bockstal, oboe)
This piece was the first interactive computer piece for an instrumental soloist written within the <GMT>(*) framework in 1998. Added musical parts are generated and calculated in real time by the computer and are a complete function of the players input and its past. One layer of sounds is derived from the private context of the performer: sounds related to normal maintenance and non-musical handling of the instrument: scraping the reed, opening the zipper from the case, testing the reed etc�. These sounds are recorded prior to a performance and installed as samples on the computer. During a run of the piece, the computer reacts to recognition of score material by playing these samples. Thus the player is immediately cued. Other voices are -after application of counterpoint procedures (inversion, mirroring, augmentation, diminution, transposition�)- played using a variety of instrumental midi sounds. Score and performance details can be found at: www.logosfoundation.org/scores_gwr/obotek.html

2. E10 (Tom Pauwels, guitar)
This composition written for guitar is the only piece on this album not to use any form of electronics. It was written in 1976 at the request of Peter Pieters, who died in 1998. The title refers to the special scordatura used in the piece: strings are tuned such that all strings can be made to sound E.

3. Cohiba (Karin De Fleyt, flute)
This flute composition is in fact a duo for a soloist, where the other performer is the computer, trying to recognize patterns proposed to the player by the score, and deciding on the course of the piece in function of these recognitions. All musical voices added to the solo flute part, are calculated in real time by the computer program for <Cohiba>. This program was written in the composer's own programming environment: <GMT> (*) for the PC, in 1999. It was commissioned by Karin De Fleyt, devoted to the newest musics for her instrument, and who wanted a piece extending the possibilities of the instrument, far into the realms of live electronics. More extensive notes can be retrieved at: www.logosfoundation.org/scores_gwr/cohiba.html

4. Dynamo (Tom Pauwels, electric guitar and home trainer)
An eco-political piece, in many respects. Conceived in 1977, the piece was only realized, worked out and premiered in 1998, in the November Music Festival. Pop musicians pride themselves to be in touch with society. Their concerts however are only possible by the grace of a gigantic commercial industry. In this piece, Raes attempts to confront the performer on the electric guitar with the ultimate consequences of imaginary ecological politics. The performer has to produce his own electricity required to power his amplifiers. As the piece gets more difficult, production of the power required gets problematic... (Luk Vaes)

5. Partition (Andrew De Masi, clavichord)
This piece was written in 1976 for the first clavichord player ever to specialize in new music for the instrument: Annette Sachs. It was premiered the same year in Teheran. There are three layers of sound/score, all to be performed by the clavichordist. Two layers should be recorded beforehand and one played live. Further notes can be found at: www.logosfoundation.org/scores_gwr/partition.html

6. LickStick (Tomma Wessel, recorder)
Like 'Obotek' and 'Cohiba', this composition is a duo for a soloist. In this case though, the score is no longer a more or less linear list of instructions in time, but much rather conceived as a game. The player is free to move through the score in any order, but as soon as the computer recognises any of the propositions given in the score (appearing on the computer screen) , it will adapt the score and propose different alternatives, derived from the musical context of the moment and of the history of the piece. The piece was written in the year 2000 for Tomma Wessel, who commissioned it.

(*) <GMT> GMT is a programming environment written by Godfried-Willem Raes specially for real time algorithmic composition. It behaves as a superset of Basic and uses Power Basic's super fast and efficient Basic compiler (PBDLL compiler). Real time audio processing, complete real time midi support, granular synthesis as well as treatment of musical syntax and musical pattern recognition are amongst the most striking capabilities of the system. People interested should check the appropriate links on the Logos Website. (http://www.logosfoundation.org). The complete package is public domain and is available in zipped form from the site. Supported platforms are: Windows98, Windows Millennium and all Windows NT versions including Windows 2000.


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Reviews: Maarten Beirens over LPD006 (dutch only)

last update: 2009-08-03