'Elements' is a collection of eight short fixed-media pieces for video and 5.1 surround sound. Each movement relates to a unique musical symbol: Treble Clef (Introduction), Crescendo, Fermata, Staccato, Trill, Slur, Sforzando, and Decrescendo.
The navigation of these miniatures is integrated as part of the performance. The videos feature a DVD style navigation, where a performer selects which videos to play by scrolling through a periodic table.
Having been used as a display feature in art galleries, libraries, and other non-performance venues, the DVD can cycle through the movements itself (randomly or in order), as if someone were navigating the menu options.
“Slur” captures the musical idea of connecting one note to another. Using only simple curved lines (a slur, after all is but a simple curved line), the movement groups the lines by color, with each instrument being represented by a color. As the instruments shift character and move around the 5.1 field, the blobs of lines shift position.
All of the music was composed myself. Most of the instrumental parts were performed by me; the large ensemble section near the end was recorded by the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound.
The soundtrack was composed alongside the visuals. As such, its program notes are the same as the notes for the original concept.
1984 | Columbia·SC, USA> website
Hunter Ewen is a dynamic young composer whose music represents a quirky synergy between the virtuosic and the absurd. Originally trained in Mechanical Engineering, Ewen's music often explores new electroacoustic modalities of composition.
Heavily influenced by the "Augmented Reality" movement in science and visual art, Ewen often treats electronics as a mechanism to make live performers bigger, stronger, faster, and louder. Humor and sarcasm abound. His music is often accompanied by multimedia components of his own creation, usually video, visual art, photography, dance, or poetry.
Ewen's notable collaborations and commissions include Lina Bahn, Edward Dusinberre, the Greater Cleveland Flute Society, The Playground Ensemble, Alarm Will Sound, GAMMA-UT, Case Western Educational Support Services, Gary Ciepluch, Anne Levy, Emmy nominated actor Bill Mooney, and Grammy nominated saxophonist Greg Banaszak with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra.
Ewen’s music appears in publications from Alphonse Leduc, Ken Dorn, Theodore Presser, Centaur Records, Ouroboros Review, and Fujihara Publications.
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