Linux Audio Conference 2012
Birches for viola and electronic sounds
Kevin Ernste

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Birches was composed as a response to the poem of the same title by the great American poet, Robert Frost. My intent was not to "set" the poem, but rather to explore its inner workings -- to re-imagine its parentheticals, present in Frost's vicarious vision of a boy, a scene of birches, and the truth of the matter versus the `truth' as revealed in the confession of an old man looking back.
Birches is dedicated to my father and was composed for violist John Graham.
Open Source tools: The electronic part for Birches is derived entirely from Mr. Graham's own instrument, an Amati viola with a rather historic lineage. Software used to construct the electronic part includes Csound, Score11 (a Csound even preprocessor), Xavier Serra's SMS (Spectral Modeling Synthesis, on an SGI O2 workstation), Paul Koonce's PVC, the Ardour DAW, and several open source sound file editors including Wavesurfer, Snd, and DAP.
Performance: Live performance is enabled by a PD patch. Playback is from stereo master files which can be diffused as multichannel.

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