Richard Dudas – Prelude and Fantasy for alto flute and computer (2010)
Music ©2010 Richard Dudas. Performed by Helen Whitaker, alto flute.
In this composition for alto flute and real-time computer processing, the sounds and computer interaction come both directly and indirectly from the instrument being performed live on stage, either processed in real- time, delayed several seconds, or recorded from an earlier point in the performance. Thus it is the human soloist who guides the piece along its path through time.
This piece was composed in order to experiment with a tighter rhythmic interaction between instrument and computer, in addition to some specially-designed signal processing algorithms that allow re-tuning of individual components within a sound’s spectrum. Nonetheless, in spite of the technical aspects of the piece, it is the composer’s hope that, from a musical point of view, the technology will be transparent to the listener in performance, and that the piece can be enjoyed purely for musical reasons by an audience not necessarily versed in technology.
Even though the world of electro-acoustic music evolved out of the 20th century’s post-war cultural era, with its terse and violent musical language, eager to reveal and present the tools of composition in lieu of the composition itself, it is time for today’s electro-acoustic musicians to return to concentrating solely on the music – to hear what they write and write what they hear, and not expose technology gratuitously for technology’s sake. Although new tools and a keen interest in new and unusual sounds may often be an important compositional impetus, we must not forget that the final product should be an entirely aesthetical and musical one.
Prelude and Fantasy for Alto Flute and Computer was premiered by flautist Martina Roth at the 2010 Seoul International Computer Music Festival.