Paul Lansky
(Copyright © 1999 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

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Paul Lansky (New York, 1944), a pioneer of computer music, specialized in employing the computer as an instrument to explore the universe of the human voice: Smalltalk (1988), released on Smalltalk (New Albion, 1990) with Not So Heavy Metal (1989), the pieces of More Than Idle Chatter (Bridge, 1994), such as Idle Chatter (1985), Justmoreidlechatter (1987), Notjustmoreidlechatter (1988), Word Color (1992), Memory Pages (1993), the Conversation Pieces (Bridge, 1998), and Alphabet Book (Bridge, 2002), that contains Pattern's Patterns, possibly his most hypnotic minimalist composition, a repetitive intricate puzzle of vocal sounds.

Homebrew (Bridge, 1992) contains concrete music such as Night Traffic (1990), a digital manipulation of the sounds of traffic; The Sound of Two Hands (1990) and Now and Then (1991).

Fantasies and Tableaux (CRI, 1994) contains the Six Fantasies on a Poem by Thomas Campion (1979) and Still Time (1994). The former is a cycle of spoken-word lieder for distorted voice (sometimes modulated to appear to be singing) and moody electronic accompaniment. The latter evokes the electromagnetic field of a wet wire, with Her Ritual sounding like the soundtrack to a short circuit. The latter is an instrumental suite in four movements of ambient music for sounds of nature and cosmic drones. The third movement opens up in a radiant "allegro" for tinkling xylophone-like filaments but the last one implodes in a lazy aimless nebula.

Folk Images (Bridge, 1995)

Ride (Bridge, 2001) contains the computer piece Ride (2000), the electronic poem Looking Back (1996), and Heavy Set (1998), a computer manipulation of piano and strings.

Lansky has also composed String Quartet 1 (1967), String Quartet 2 (1977), Crossworks (1978) for piano, flute, violin, cello, Ricercare (2000) for string quartet; the 1996 computer opera Things She Carried (Bridge, 1997); Values Of Time (1997) for tape, string quartet and wind quartet;

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