Many cultures have a traditional style of singing used either in a religious setting, as a work song or for entertainment. Two such traditions are the Inuit and the Tuvan throat singing styles. In both of these styles the performers are able to create textures and harmonics that go beyond what one traditionally thinks possible using only the human voice. Tuvan throat singing is related to the practice of animism which believes that all animals, objects and places possess spiritual qualities. The performers, nearly always male, use a series of harmonics, whistles and guttural sounds to mimic these spirits. Inuit throat singing is performed by duos of women and originated as a game to pass the time while the males were hunting. The object of the game was to be the last to run out of breath. Breath uses samples of traditional performers of these styles blended with a series of electronic and natural sounds.
Music: Torin Andersen Arrangement: Von Hansen Choreography: Stan K. Rogers
WC Quartet John Harrison: Violin, Rob Loren: Violin Elizabeth Wallace: Viola, Susan Mayo: Cello
Spirit of the Stairs Torin Andersen: Guitar, Zach Roach: Guitar Caleb Drummond: Bass, Will Erickson: Drums
VON HANSEN PERCUSSION
Suite for Prepared Vibraphone is a series of pieces composed for a vibraphone with various objects affixed to or placed between the bars.
The preparations include: Coins taped to the top of the keys to create a sizzle effect.
Tambourine jingles placed on top of each other make an articulate “chick” accompanying the natural bar sound.
Guitar strings affixed to the bottom of several keys almost sound electronically altered.
Foil packets filled with rice develop a soft resonant fuzz.
Erasers placed between the low notes allow these notes to be dampened while the rest of the notes resonate.
ABOUT THE PIECE:
This composition was inspired by John Cage’s Sonatas and Interludes for prepared piano (1946-1948). Similar to Cage’s work I strived to make a multi-moment work in which the feel of each movement is a drastically different. The idea of creating angular, articulate music, introspective resonant music and intensely aggressive music from the same set of preparations was an exciting challenge.
I. Oblique is an introduction into the sound world of the preparations keeping the textures isolated within in each gesture.
II. Transcendent begins to combine the prepared sounds with the natural sound of the vibraphone using a constantly reoccurring 5 note row.
III. Incessant blends all of the preparations together in an intense, aggressive and persistent finale.
Several physicists have hypothesized existence of an extra dimension of this universe, and speculative theories about dimension of space have been introduced. The endeavor of physicists inspired me to think about an extra dimension of music. In this piece, I tried to create an additional dimension that might be conceptually abstract using a live video camera and four channel sounds as the extra dimensions.
Von Hansen (Friends University) visited BSP headquarters for a special In the Shop performance. Von performs "Stop Speaking" by Andy Akiho using a 5" x 14" Multisonic with a ply maple shell.
Dr. Von Hansen performing Chaconne from Violin Partita no. 2 by J.S. Bach. Arranged for marimba by Von Hansen. This work is said to have been written in remembrance of Bach's first wife and is considered one of the most emotionally powerful and structurally perfect compositions ever written.
It's Like the Nothing Never Was for percussion and electronic processing. Composed and performed by Von Hansen This work is meant to encourage interaction between performer and computer by creating an electroacoustic soundscape without the use of prerecorded material. The performer is given guidelines and is encouraged to engage the randomized computer processing through improvisation.
Ad Astra Percussion (Von Hansen, Luke Dull, Mai Tadokoro, Tai-Jung Tsai) perform movements VI and VIII of Elliot Cole's Postludes for Bowed Vibraphone. Recorded in the Allen Field House Parking Garage on The University of Kansas campus.