Don’t be surprised when speakers become a focal point in Sunday’s concert, which is part of the Columbus State University Schwob School of Music Faculty Concert Series. But the biggest part of the concert is a computer that will be manipulated by Matthew McCabe.
McCabe, 31, is visiting assistant professor of audio technology. He teaches music technology, theory and psychology courses. He’s also working on his Ph.D. in composition at the University of Florida.
He hopes to graduate in May, but his project has yet to pass his dissertation committee.
When McCabe explains how he composes his music, it sounds easy.
It involves the “creation and capturing of music.”
For example, for the piece “i told the trees about you and this is what they said,” he put a microphone outside his window in his Gainesville, Fla. house, and recorded the wind. At first, the wind is gentle, stirring the wind chime, and then it grows fiercer.
In another piece, “Color Shifts,” he recorded the Jordan Concert Organ in Legacy Hall during a series of concerts last fall.
McCabe writes in the program notes that it is a project on “synaesthesia and sound-color isomorphism in music. This work uses the data gathered in a behavioral psychology experiment (where both musicians and non-musicians were asked to create matching pairs of colors and pitches) to construct filters that attempt to ‘tint’ sound.”
McCabe specializes in electroacoustic music, which he says comes out of the new music tradition, a new way of making music.
One of the earliest composers who dabbled in this type of music was Paul Hindemith in the 1940s, McCabe said. A decade later, John Cage began writing avant garde electronic music.
Besides the taped music, which McCabe usually works with, there will be several live performances.
CSU’s Ronald Wirt plays bassoon on “Kyrie,” a piece for bassoon and electronics. The other performer is Russell Brown, director of woodwind studies at Albany State University. He will play clarinet on McCabe’s world premiere of “Superstructure I” for clarinet and electronics; “Breath” for clarinet and electronics and “fix-a-tion” for clarinet and electronics.