Australian-based (but USA-born) composer Warren Burt (1949)
followed LaMonte Young' lead in exploring drones
(often in multimedia settings, such as his video-opera Nighthawk of 1976
and Sound Garden of 1982).
However, he was also active in computer music, first designing two "composing
machines" ("Aardvarks IV" in 1975 and "Aardvarks VII" in 1978)
and then using them to create pieces such as the Piano Quintet (1983) for
piano and string quartet, Voices, Tuning Forks And Accordion (1986) and
String Quartet No 4 (1987).
His pieces toyed with random composition, juxtaposition of opposites, just intonation and environmental interaction, sometimes all at the same time.
Harmonic Colour Fields (Pogus, 2002) collected
a set of five computer pieces from 1996-97 that explored static microtonal harmonic fields:
the 13-minute Portrait of Erv Wilson and
the ten-minute Portrait of John Chalmers
both very ambient in nature;
the 13-minute Adjacencies (A Drone on Breaking my Kneecap), a massive
the 16-minute 11:21:23 (A Drone on Mom and Felix's Birthdays)
and the 15-minute 48=>53; 53=>48,
studies in slowly altering rather fastidious drilling tones.
The Animation of Lists and the Archytan Transpositions (XI, 2006), that
the four-part The Animation of Lists and the four-part The Archytan Transpositions (originally devised in 2002), each based on the other one,
sounds like a massive exercise in microtonal tuning.
The pitches are sequenced by a mathematical process (they sound pretty much
random to a human ear) and are given the time necessary to resonate and fully
populate the listening space. Each one is a listening experience,
crisp, clear and colorful.
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