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In Dorian Reeds, Terry Riley’s 1964 score for solo performer and two tape recorders, the performer interacts with layers of music which were recorded in the past. The score is filled with modules of music meant to be repeated by the performer against a constantly mutating tape loop. These modules are contrasted by several others meant to be played only once, though due to the tape loop these modules are heard multiple times. Riley performed and recorded the score himself with a soprano saxophone. He started by performing the modules into a microphone. This signal was recorded onto the first tape machine. The tape then traveled toward the second, which was placed at a distance that caused about five quarter notes to pass before the original signal arrived. This second machine read and played back the recorded signal at a slightly lower volume. The recording tape then travelled back into the first tape recorder, where the live signal was recorded and mixed with the previously recorded music. This system created many layers of sound, with the older moments, like memories, slowly fading away. In this version, titled Dorian Brass, the score was realized as a studio project rather than a live performance. I played from the score with a flugelhorn, and then worked with an array of music technologies to realize this recording. I recorded many performances of each module. I carefully listened to these recordings and chose approximately the best 10% of the individual modules from the recordings. The selected modules were then assembled onto a sequencer timeline using computer software. Each repetition was edited to better conform to the steady rhythmic grid of the sequencer, ensuring a more accurate timing of each note. Rather than using tape recorders, I opted for software designed to emulate the tape loop process. Additionally, I recorded with two different mutes (straight and cup), providing other timbres to draw from during arranging. As far as I know, this piece has only been engaged by woodwind performers. The brass character is perhaps closest to the original soprano saxophone which, in spite of its vastly different mouthpiece is likewise constructed of brass. Matt Dixon Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013 Credits: Matt Dixon: flugelhorn, editor, arranger, recording engineer, mixing, mastering. Ryan Fedor: Art Completed to fulfill the requirements of the Master of Music Technology, IUPUI Recorded in Joao Pessoa, Brazil Post production in SLC, Utah, USA Tech: Ableton Live, Waves plug-ins, MXL and Sure microphones, E-mu microphone preamps and analog to digital conversion.
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