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Sculptor (2001) 3'14"
The source material of Sculptor was a monaural percussion track by the group Tortoise, sent to me for processing in August 2000 by John McEntire. I granulated and filtered the material by means of custom software (my constant-Q granulator), which disintegrated the beating drums into a torrent of sound particles scattered across the stereo field. Beginning with this turbulent sound mass, I articulated the internal morphologies and implied causalities within the current of particles. This meant shaping the river of particle densities, squeezing and stretching the amplitudes of individual particles and particle clouds, carving connected and disconnected frequency zones, and twisting the spatial flow. Over months of intermittent editing on different time scales, I was able to sculpt this material into its final form. The composition was completed in July 2001 in Santa Barbara.

Curtis Roads
teaches electronic music composition at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Many of his compositions feature granular and pulsar synthesis, methods he implemented for synthesizing sound from acoustical particles. His synthesis program Cloud Generator is widely distributed. Together with Alberto de Campo, he recently developed a new program for particle synthesis called PulsarGenerator. They also developed the Creatovox, a new digital synthesizer for expressive performance of particle synthesis. Recent books include the textbook The Computer Music Tutorial (1996, MIT Press), Musical Signal Processing (coeditor, 1997, Swets and Zeitlinger), L'audionumérique (1999, Éditions Dunod), and Konpyu-ta Ongaku - Rekishi Tekunoroji A-to (2001, Denki Daigaku Shuppan). His latest book, Microsound (2002, The MIT Press), explores the aesthetics and techniques of composition with acoustic particles. His music appears on CDs produced by the MIT Media Lab, OR, WDR, Mode, and Wergo.

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