Consortia is a revised version of an earlier work, Consortium, adapted for ensembles of any size or instrumentation. It is the result of work that never made it into the multimedia chamber opera The Cosmic Engine. The electroacoustic background structure and live improvisations are based on the works of two English Renaissance composers, William Byrd and John Jenkins. A prerecorded version of the Jenkins melody (as recorded by cellist Jacqueline Ultan) begins the work, processed in real-time by the computer. The ensemble joins, improvising around the two English Renaissance themes, which are themselves processed by the computer, building a fabric of sound constructed of all these sources.
The computer processing of the sampled sound is inspired by the intersection of the ancient ideas of canon and isorhythm, and the rather more modern ideas of sample looping and phase-shifting. In the performance, the audio technician records, transforms and loops a portion of each melody in a large window of time, between two and six beats wide. Over the course of 11 minutes, this window gradually traverses the length of a 32-beat melody, all the time adjusting and transforming the material being looped, in addition to being modulated by computer tracking of the performers. This creates a kind of canon that is the foundation for the live, improvised performance that implements this same idea of moving windows to both melodic lines.
Scott Miller is a composer of electroacoustic, orchestral, chamber, choral and multimedia works frequently performed at venues and in exhibitions throughout North America and Europe. His music has been described as 'not for the faint-hearted listener' (Juliet Patterson, mnartists.org) and 'inspir[ing] real hope & optimism for the future of electroacoustic music.' (Simon Cummings, 5against4.com). Known for his interactive electroacoustic chamber music and experimental performance pieces, Miller has received honors and awards from the Jerome Foundation, the McKnight Fellowship for Composition, the Minnesota State Arts Board, the Central Minnesota State Arts Board, and the MUSICA NOVA 98 International Electroacoustic Music Competition. Recordings of his music have been released on Innova, Eroica, CRS, rarescale and SEAMUS, is published by ACA (American Composers Alliance), Tetractys, and Jeanné.
Miller is a Professor of Music at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, where he teaches composition, electroacoustic music and theory. He is currently Vice President of Programs for the Society for Electro-Acoustic Music in the U.S. (SEAMUS). He has lectured on electroacoustic music and composition in universities and secondary schools across the United States, Europe and Mexico. He holds degrees from The University of Minnesota, The University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill and the State University of New York at Oneonta, and has studied composition at the Czech-American Summer Music Institute and the Centre de Creation Musicale Iannis Xenakis.
May 17-18, 7:30 p.m.
May 19, 2 p.m.
275 East Fourth Street, Suite 200, St. Paul