for solo double bass and live electronics
composed by Zack Settel in 1992
commissioned by bassist Mauricio Romero
realized at IRCAM, Paris France, using the ISPW system
Listen to the pieced (performed by Mauricio Romero)
Taudrium is a piece for double bass in which the musical role and timbral range of the instrument are extended through computer-coordinated signal processing and synthesis. The electronic sounds in the piece are produced live during performance; they are derived from the sounds of the double bass, and are under the soloist's direct control. The double bass, combined with the computer, can be thought of as right and left hands, performing on a polyphonic instrument, offering a wide range of timbre and musical material.
The complex instrument referred to above has two main parts: control and signal processing/generation. The control information comes from two sources: 1) the soloist's piano-like foot pedal, and 2) a pitch and envelope follower which analyses the audio signal produced by the double bass. The control signals generated by the foot pedal and the pitch/envelope follower are sent to other software modules which interpret them, and in turn, control the signal processors and synthesizers accordingly. The signal processing and sound generation include analysis/resynthesis (via FFT and iFFT), harmonizers, live sampling, delay lines and FM (Frequency Modulation) synthesis—all of which are directly controlled by the soloist.
As technical support, the piece requires both a sound engineer, in charge of sound reinforcement and signal level monitoring, and a musician/technician (coach), who, during rehearsals and the performance, insures that the computer is properly cued, and that the program is working correctly. The electronics are realized in software, written in the Max Language, which was created by Miller Puckette. The software is provided with the scores. Special thanks to Miller Puckette and to Krystyna Reeder for her help editing and copying the score.
duration: approximately 16 minutes
read more about Taudrium in thesis by Dani‘l Hamburger (2002-3)