Decade zero

for brass quintet and computer

ABOUT: Available on Decade Zero

Decade zero for brass quintet and computer was written for and is dedicated to the Western Brass Quartet. The term “Decade Zero” refers to the point in human history when humans can either deal with climate change or deal with the imminent irrevocable changes to the planet. The piece has a narrative arc that represents a struggle of environmental activists and climate scientists to demonstrate the necessity of change and to propose sustainable practices. In general, the trumpets represent scientific assessments and proposals and the horn, trombone, and tuba celebrate environmental beauty and warn of potential destruction with lyrical melodic phrases and chorales. IN the abstract narrative, these forces fight catastrophe, which is portrayed as rising ocean levels by increasingly loud and distorted water sounds. The audio signals of each instrument are captured and manipulated in real time. Additionally, the pitch and volume of each instrument is tracked and impacts synthesized sounds and real time processing in the electronics. The vast majority of the electronic sounds, including the water sounds, are completely dependent on the instrumental performance. In this manner, the electronics depict the outcomes of various human activities.


about the technology

The electronics are primarily live electronics that are advanced by a person who runs the technology. One microphone, preferably a clip on microphone, is required for each instrument. The pitch and amplitude of the live instruments control many aspects of the live processing.