Joel Chadabe - After Some Songs

After Some Songs

Joel Chadabe

Jan Williams

“After some songs, composed between 1986 and 1994, is a collection of short improvisational pieces for electronic sounds and percussion and (occasionally) other instruments. Several of the pieces are abstractions of jazz classics, sometimes recognizable, sometimes not.

The collection was originally intended to provide the music for a solo concert by Jan Williams. My idea was that Jan's playing would be enlarged and extended if both acoustic and electronic sounds seemed to be coming from the same instrument. To achieve this effect, I created a sound palette in which many of the electronically generated sounds so closely resemble the acoustic percussion sounds that sometimes it's hard to know whether a sound is acoustically or electronically produced.

The electronic sounds also function as a kind of interactive accompaniment. In performance, I'm sitting at a computer, Manipulating screen controls, while the computer is generating variations on the basic material and controlling a synthesizer. Jan plays along with what he hears. At the same time, I'm following what he does. It's as if I'm conducting an improvising orchestra which is accompanying an improvising soloist. We're following each other in performance, matching sounds and gestures, letting the music unfold as a result of that mutually influential process”.

Joel Chadabe, May 1995

"I've been working with Jan Williams since the late 1960s and I've played these pieces with him many times, in many places, and in many versions during the past several years. Many Mornings, Many Moods, for example, was at first a concerto for solo percussion, orchestra and electronics, commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts and premiered by Jan and the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra at the North American New Music Festival in 1988. I've also played these pieces in Europe with Bruno Spoerri and Reto Weber. A Touch Of Africa, in fact, was written in Bruno's studio near Zurich. And so I was very pleased to have the opportunity, for the first time, to bring everyone together in the performances on this disc." - JC

Joel Chadabe performs his music throughout the world, in concerts with Jan Williams and other musicians. His music can be heard on CDCM, Centaur, Lovely, CP2, Folkways, and other labels. He is a pioneer in the development of interactive computer music systems, President of Intelligent Music, and founder of Electronic Music Foundation. He is presently on the faculty at The University at Albany and Bennington College.

Jan Williams, percussion soloist and conductor, has appeared with leading orchestras and new music groups throughout the world. His performances can be heard on Columbia, Vox/Turnabout, Desto, Lovely Music, Spectrum, Wergo, DGG, Orion, Hat Hut, OO, and Mode labels. He is presently on the faculty at SUNY/Buffalo and he has been Co-Artistic Director of the North American New Music Festival.

Bruno Spoerri, saxophonist and composer, and Reto Weber, percussionist, live and work in Switzerland as performing musicians and tour extensively throughout the world.