Nikola Resanovic: alt.music.ballistix for Clarinet and Soundfile (1995)
(notes by the composer, as found on his website: www.nikolaresanovic.com)
a title suggestive of a fictitious interrnet news group, "alt.music.ballistix"
is an electro-acoustic composition scored for solo clarinet and digital audio
tape which I composed for Professor Hakan Rosengren in the fall of 1995.
The 12-minute work is divided into four contiguous movements as follows:
Mvt. 1 - "A Matter of Fax" (a three-minute sonic montage featuring original
samples from various technological sources including a fax/modem, telephone,
short-wave radio, satellite transmissions, mingled with the most precious
of all musical comodities - silence!)
Mvt. 2 - "A Soliloquy" (a three-minute, 11-tone, unaccompanied clarinet
solo based on every pitch but the pitch 'D' which appears later as an accompanimental
'ison' or drone)
Mvt. 3 - "A Balkan Dance" (influenced by Macedonian and Bulgarian dance idioms,
the movement features many references to the folk music of this region of
Mvt. 4 - Convolution@dat.cc.uakron.edu (The above three movements
are polyphonically combined, and a fourth element - the unrelentingly polite
voice-mail lady - is injected into the sonic recipe.)
"Ballistix" is a musical representation of some of the bizarre realities
of our modern era of digital communications and information. It is
the metaphor of the seemingly backwards peasant down-loading the latest nasdaq
figures via his cell phone/modem onto his lap-top computer in some remote
region of the Balkans - his cows grazing in the background. This juxtaposition
of the modern and the timeless, the sophisticated and the simple, the sublime
and the ridiculous, expresses itself in a music which combines "atonality"
with the 'ison'; "emancipated rhythm" with a metric straight-jacket; a clarinet
with an accordion, tambourine and modem.
"Ballistix" is convoluted music: it takes musical events that seem
isolated and unrelated at their first presentation and restates them in a
contrapuntally intertwined manner. In this new context these same musical
events are transformed by their very interaction as they combine to reveal
a higher order of relationships.