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Explorations: Jen-Kuang Chang

May 12, 2009

This week we go a very long distance from home to bring you Vritti by Jen-Kuang Chang.  Well, somewhat far.  Mr. Chang is a native of Taiwan, but currently calls Middle America home, where he blogs and writes music for you to listen to.  Seriously, the blog was a lot of fun to go through.  Great pictures and videos.

More seriously, Mr. Chang’s music has received a number of awards, including his chamber ensemble work Chakra receiving the Second Prize in the JIMS “Stadtpfeifer” International Composition Contest for Improvised Chamber Music in Salzburg.  The work has also been published by EAM and was premiered the Janus Ensemble, directed by Christoph Cech.   He has also had works selected for a number of festivals, including Spark Festival of Electronic Music and Arts, the Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, SCI National Conference, SCI Student National Conference, the Summer Studies for Jazz & Improvised Music Salzburg, the Sonoimágenes International Acousmatic and Multimedia Festival in Buenos Aires, CYNETart Festival in Germany.

We’ll be hearing Vritti by Mr. Chang on the program.  Really, I couldn’t describe the piece any better than he does in the program notes:

“Vritti” is a sonic poem depicting the fluctuation of human conscious during the meditative state.  It utilizes both computer-generated sound sources and sampled files.  Some of sonic textures are created by using advanced programming techniques in Max/MSP, while others evolve real-time manipulation procedures.  Samples files used in this composition can be divided into two categories: Instrumental sound files and field recording by using Edirol R-09 recorder.  Non-real-time manipulations were later applied to these files to construct desired effects.  By presenting this sonic poem, the composer invites listeners to contemplate the kaleidoscopic mind state and its interaction with the surrounding reality.

For a piece that clocks in at under four minutes, it really does make your brain work a lot.  “Is that a found sound?  That sounds like, but isn’t quite…” runs through my head during the piece.  The work feels like people watching in a busy park, if the people were drawn by Salvador Dali and inside my head. 

Tune in next Wednesday (May 20) at 7pm to hear Vritti.  If you miss it, it’ll be up here for a while after the show.

Vritti by C. Jen-Kuang

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