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Clones for tuba and tape
Difficulty: very difficult
Clones - for tuba and electronic sounds
In the movie "Multiplicity" the Michael Keaton character goes to a cloning clinic.
He wants to create a duplicate of himself that can spend 80 hour weeks at work, with the hope that the original will have time to goof off and enjoy life.
The first clone then clones himself so there is someone available to be a devoted house-husband.
And once again, that clone creates a clone of himself to spread the workload yet further.
Each successive clone acquires mutations that distort it more and more from the original model.
The thought of clones mutating gradually from copy to copy is the basic idea behind this piece.
The music starts with a tuba solo. Next, a voice appears on the tape that is a clone of a real tuba sound, a very close digital copy.
Then new voices which are "clones of clones" enter one by one on the tape, becoming successively more different until the original tuba sound becomes, at times, not even recognizeable.
This "cloning" idea suggested the canonic writing in two or more voices that occurs throughout the piece.
The voices increase exponential1y, finally melding into complex clouds of sound.
In the tuba writing, I was trying to offer the soloist an opportunity to display the expressive range of the instrument, from lyrical and introspective to hold and rhythmic.
The performer has to work hard to stay in sync with the CD amidst exacting and transparent rhythms.
Delays in the sound between the loudspeakers and the performer may make it difficult to stay with the recording, in which case using headsets during the performance may help.
I imagine the performer standing in front of the left speaker on one side of the stage, with the right speaker on the other side.
The electronic part should be very loud at its maximum dynamic. Sections like bar 35-130 should strive for balance between CD and solo.
Sections like bar 131 should have a full, room-filling loudness.
Harmonics, like bar 201, should wash throughout the hall.
I certainly do not object to having someone adjust the sound Ievel during the performance since balance will be different in different halls and adjustments throughout, if planned carefully, will probably improve the effect.
Most of the piece is metrically precise, and cues are given in the score to help the soloist keep with the CD.
Note that only one ofthe voices of the electronic part is indicated in the score for cueing, usually just the Jead voice if it is a cannon, or one of the voices in the texture if it is a chord (and note, for example, that beginning at bar 99 there is some doubling in the tape that is not indicated in the score ).
The tape part is not meant to be complete, but just provides helpful cues along the way.
Bar 201-228 and bar 262 to the endare not metrical, and are only loosely synchronized with the CD.
I've indicated some general changes in the electronics that you should be aware of in these sections, but the playing should be loose and free and organized more by a feel for the pacing of the CD rather than a strict metrical rhythm.
Clones is dedicated to the uncloneable Jeffrey Funderburk, who commissioned and premiered it, and recorded it on his CD "Journeys".