• Gallery 1 COCKTAIL JAZZ11:14
  • Gallery 2 MORTON & CHEONAE FELDMAN12:30
  • Gallery 3 COWBOY ANDY WARHOL8:48
  • Gallery 4 OFFERTORY11:33
  • Gallery 6 SINGLE MALT SCOTCH12:14
  • Gallery 7 SPARSE9:19
  • Gallery 8 REPETITION7:26
  • Gallery 9 COPYCAT5:40
  • Gallery 10 JAZZ AMBIANCE10:32

frank stemper

computerized scores for MIDI, processors, samplers, and live performers; Eight channel sound. 
Commissioned by the SIUC School of Art and Design  -  (105 mins.)

Premiered during a Cheonae Kim art exhibition at The University Museum - SIUC, September 15, 2000. 


Although I conceived and realized all the music in this project, it was also a group effort among my students, several younger faculty in the SIUC school of music, and myself.  The original request was to have original music composed for an art opening at the university museum.  The artists were a husband/wife team: Cheonae Kim & Joel Feldman.  The gallery consisted of  4-5 rooms within the same space.  Mmmmmm.  What to do. 

I composed the music to be background music – the “artists” wanted music, but not to out-shine their work.  Actually, I find that practically everyone who “listens” to music, really doesn’t listen to it.  Serisoualy, truthfully.  Music exists in the background of most “listeners’” lives.  Really.  They talk over it.  They think over it.  Almost nobody really listens.  If they did, the music wouldn’t be a constant drone while they drive, captivating their ear buds, or blasting through their social gatherings.  It couldn’t be.  It would be too tiring.  Music is meant to be listened to, but it is not.

So this music was to accompany folks maybe perusing the artwork, but really just milling around, eatin shrimp and cheap Chardonnay, and greeting others in a similar capacity.  Both the artwork and the sonic experience were there to provide a back-drop for the get-together.  Fact, no?

That said, the 105 minutes of digital music that I put together were meant to be fooled with during  the performance.  During the first performance, at the above mentioned  art exhibit, I manipulated the pre-composed music, processing various parameters digitally – ad lib.  While I did that 3 of my students manipulated the 8 channel playback, which was dispersed through the 4-5 rooms.  That was fun.  The music appeared and then was only heard as an echo coming from another room.  The students got into it.  Then I took them home with me and we gorged on several pizzas.

A second performance of the piece occurred in a single hall, as a gather place for an art festival.  My students still manipulated the 8-channel playback, and I fooled with the processing.  But, in addition, I invited a few musicians to join in the sound, improvising along with the music.  Chicago Jazz Deva, Rita Warford, Saxophones Buddy Rodgers and Todd Rewoldt, and percussionist Ron Coulter.  They of course each had an additional channel on the big mixer, which my students bounced around the room.


21 Jan 2018