Laurie Spiegel
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Laurie Spiegel (1945), a lute and banjo player by training, is a Chicago-born and New York-based composer of computer music who reacted to the futurism and dadaism of the early pioneers by developing an original aesthetic borrowed from folk music, creating relatively atmospheric and melodic music via arcane mathematical algorithms.

Her early experiments with musique concrete include Introit (1973), Water Music (1974), Music For A Garden Of Electronic Delights (1976).

Her mature and original approach is documented by the four pieces dating from 1974-76 collected on Expanding Universe (Philo, 1980). The minimalist repetition of Patchwork (1974) is couple to a gradual warping of timbres. As the pulsing pattern expands and contracts, as the timbres rise and descend, the listener falls under the spell of different levels of hypnosis. It sounds like Terry Riley's Rainbow in Curved Air without the melody. It also embodies the sound of machine music before the invention of industrial music.
Other facets are explored in the dilated, om-like Old Wave (1975) and in the aquatic refractions and fade-outs of Pentachrome (1974). The floating drones of The Expanding Universe (1975) evoke the same awe-inspiring eternity of Klaus Schulze's cosmic music. Masses of static "melodies" (stillborn melodies, that never grow to be one) keep repeating their distant wail, echoed from galaxy to galaxy, the same way that Brian Eno's ambient music does not conclude.

A much darker, imploding universe is exhibited by the computer works composed between 1987 and 1990, collected on Unseen Worlds (Scarlet, 1991 - Aesthetic Engineering, 1994), Three Sonic Spaces (1989), Finding Voice (1988), The Hollows (1990), Two Archetypes: Hall of Mirrors, Hurricane's Eye (1990), Sound Zones (1990), Riding The Storm (1990), Two Intellectual Interludes (Data and Process) (1990), A Harmonic Algorithm (1981), Passage (1987).

Obsolete Systems (Electronic Music Foundation, 2001) offers a retrospective of electronic works (mostly for analog synthesizers) composed between 1970 and 1983: Five Short Visits to Different Worlds (1977), Voices Within: A Requiem (1979), Three Modal Pieces: A Cosmos, A Legend, A Myth (1983).

She has also composed soundtracks for videos, films and ballets (The Library Of Babel, 1972; White Devil, 1972; The House Of Bernarda Alba, 1973; Emma, 1975; Narcissicon, 1976; East River, 1976; Unicorn, 1982; Precious Metal Variations, 1983; Over Time, 1984; Point McLeyvier, 1984; Gravity's Joke, 1985; Rain Pieces, 1985; Dissipative Fantasies, 1986; Music for Signals, 1986; Dryads, 1988; Continuous Transformations, 1990; A Volume of Three Dimensional, 1990).

She also composed An Isorhythmic Double Canon (1979) for string quartet, A Canon (1980) for chamber ensemble and computer, Phantoms (1980) for chamber ensemble and tape, Hearing Things (1983) for chamber orchestra, etc.

Harmonices Mundi (Table Of The Elements, 2004) contains her 1975 composition for geometric patterns of solemn computer tones.

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Legal restrictions - Termini d'uso )
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