computer-generated sounds

Robert Morris

Program Notes

One of the reasons a composer turns to computer music is its singular potential for helping one create sounds which, due to the unique and compelling timbres, are able to articulate pitch and rhythmic structures with a clarity and presence approaching the eidetic. Since Aubade results from the "composing-out" of a one-to-eight part web of contrapuntal strands, computer realization was chosen as the most natural way to project its structure. The computer medium also allowed me to give each strand its own "spacial-profile" so various sonic continuities seem to be placed at or between loud speakers and/or move between them. The interaction of musical timbres, registers, spacial and gestural rhythms not only helps guide the listener through the many overlapped and interlocking strands but actually creates multiple paths of continuity through the piece.

As in almost all my recent music, Aubade is made up of passages each of whose contexts and environments can be heard as a transformations of each other. By encouraging the listener to hear this piece in a "multiplicative" way, I hope he or she will find the experience of the reciprocity of figure and ground--the world in which Aubade lives, a particularly moving aesthetic category.

Aubade was composed in August 1981 and realized at the ESM Computer Music Studio. It was revised in 1990.