Performer Blogs@Sequenza21.com

Jay C. Batzner is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Central Florida where he teaches theory, composition, and technology courses as well as coordinates the composition program. He holds degrees in composition and/or theory from the University of Missouri Kansas City, the University of Louisville, and the University of Kansas.

Jay's music is primarily focused around instrumental chamber works as well as electroacoustic composition. His music has been recorded on the Capstone, Vox Novus, and Beauport Classical labels and is published by Unsafe Bull Music.

Jay is a sci-fi geek, an amateur banjoist, a home brewer, and juggler.





4/21/2009
SEAMUS vs. NASCAR

The rest of SEAMUS went well, some great pieces and great performances happened on Saturday morning. I had university obligations that prevented me from hearing the Saturday afternoon and evening concerts, but all in all the whole weekend went extremely well.

It strikes me that there is a similar urge between electronic musicians and NASCAR fans. We secretly want to see crashes. We enjoy it when the technology does what it is supposed to do, but we also have a sick fascination with seeing/hearing wreckage strewn about the arena. Sometimes it might be schadenfreude. You don't like the piece and therefore you rejoice when it goes poorly. Or you think the composer is a hack and then their electronics implode and you secretly enjoy it.

I think the more generous idea is watching the battle of art vs. technology. These two forces are not always on the same page yet we try to harness one for the other. Sometimes tech is the perfect pairing for our art. Sometimes tech fights back and that struggle is worth watching. Who will win? The art or the tech? As musicians, we are entranced with the struggle that yields art's creation. It is sad when Max/MSP takes a composer to the wall and leaves their composition a flaming pile of audio carnage. When they composer can max out the tech, push the barrier beyond safety but STILL be able to make good music, that is the transcendent moment we want.