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My piece objects for marimba, piano and electronic organ is going to be premiered at the Sequenza 21 concert on November 20th. The performers will be Hugh Sung (electronic organ), Daniel Beliavsky (piano) and Bill Solomon (marimba). I encountered Hugh through MySpace, and it turns out we both live and work in the Philadelphia area, Hugh being a fantastic pianist at the Curtis Institute of Music and a fellow technologist. We’ve done a podcast together at his studio at Curtis, and I’m delighted he’s participating in this event. Daniel teaches at NYU and is also a composer, while Bill is an expert marimbist in the Hartford, CT area.

objects score

At the time that I was writing objects, I was teaching a college course in computer science; the work’s title comes from a programming construct in which blocks of computer code are organized into reusable units called objects. This is similar to how most of the piece is made up of repetitive, reusable groups of notes and rhythms, and is a feature of most of my music since the early 80’s.

I wrote objects pretty much over a weekend in 1999, although it took me two months to finalize everything. I was playing with three rhythmic fragments on my synthesizer, all in 7/16 time but with the three possible beat structures (3+2+2 vs 2+3+2 vs 2+2+3). Initially I had the keyboard play the patterns back at superhuman speeds, which was pretty interesting, but it was even more interesting when the tempo was slowed down. The entire work resulted largely from these three fragments, and only in two measures does the meter change from 7/16, namely 11/16. I wrote objects for my daughter, Arielle, who was almost four at the time.

objects is a piece that I have always thought of as my most “fun” piece. It’s very accessible, and unlike some of my other music that tends to run an hour or even more than two hours in duration (cantorials, textbook, for philip glass), objects lasts only around 11 minutes.

objects will be the finale of the concert in November, so please don’t leave early (if for no other reason than there will be a really nice party after the concert!). If you need some further convincing about sitting through until the end of the concert, click here…

5 Responses to “BETTER THAN SEX—results guaranteed!!!!”
  1. David Toub says:

    Thanks, Glenn and Galen, for your kind words! Galen, I’m really looking forward to hearing your piece in concert.

    You know, if it were so hard to tell if it were real or sampled, people wouldn’t be as inclined to hear it in performance 😎

    Actually, it was done with my old KS-32 synth, and it’s pretty good for 1990 technology. And I’m the first to gripe about the limitations of my rig, so I agree with you.

    So I guess you will have to stick around for the entire concert after all, Galen…

  2. David — I hope it will come as no surprise that I love this piece and I’m psyched to hear it live. So I suppose I’ll have to stick around until the end of the concert after all. . .

    On the other hand, a tech guy like you could really stand to spruce up his MIDI rig — a piece like this could easily be made to sound pretty convincingly live with the right samples and the right techniques.

  3. This is one of my favorite pieces (possibly my favorite) by David Toub. It is great to hear that it will be performed (and hopefully recorded, as well) soon!

  4. Evan Johnson says:

    Of course, there’s also “1+1=1”, a duet for bass clarinet by Pierluigi Billone. Don’t think about that one too hard, it might ruin the mood.

  5. David Toub says:

    Ooooh, that _does_ sound better than sex! Even a weekend of sex. 2+3+2 … you don’t say. It’ll make all that 4/4 porn obsolete.

    Aaron, I’m told 2+3+2 is almost as interesting as 1+1 . 😉

    Of course, the kama sutra says something like “sex with one many times is better than sex with many, one time.” Particularly important in this age of STDs…