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Catherine Schieve's Repentistas (2003) updated

Way  back in 2003, Catherine wrote a piece called Repentistas, which was her homage to the troubadours of the Northeast of Brazil, of the same name.  The original piece was for our reconstruction of the Percy Grainger / Burnett Cross "Electric Eye Tone Tool," organ, toy piano, and any stringed instrument, in this case, violin.  A few months ago, I realized that with advances in technology, it might be possible to redo the electronics part so that it could be played on an iPad using the Virtual ANS app, which itself is a reconstruction of the Soviet ANS synthesizer, like the Electric Eye Tone Tool, another early light controlled synthesizer.  This proved to be possible, and Catherine proposed that I learn the stringed instrument part on viola (I only barely play viola), and we get a toy piano player to do that part.  Eventually, we also realized the idea of the original organ part as another Virtual ANS patch, this one on an iPhone.  So the final result was performed on July 24 2017, as the opening act on the Undue Noise 15th Anniversary Festival, held in the Old Fire Station venue that is part of the Bendigo Arts Complex.  The performance was organized by Jacques Soddell, Mr. Undue Noise, to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the series that he's been curating for all that time.  The performers were Catherine Schieve, iPhone and iPad, Ian Parsons, toy piano, and myself, Warren Burt, on viola.  Here are some documents from the day.

First, the original score for the Electric Eye Tone Tool - which is about 90 cm by about 1.2 meters:

And here is the score after I processed it so that it would work in the Virtual ANS app:

Herre is the score for the reconstituted organ part, now reconceived for iPhone:

And here I am, with my viola, performing the part for the stringed instrument, which is on the table in front of me (this photo is by Jacques Soddell - thanks Jacques!):

Catherine pointed out that the orignal piece had her moving with large sweeping gestures, moving the large score on the even larger Electric Eye Tone Tool back and forth in large sweeping gestures.  Now, she was constrained to the small surface of the iPad, performing with tiny gestures with the fingertips.  The sound is still pretty big, though, as you can hear.




Or, if that Flash Player doesn't work for you, you can download the mp3 of Catherine, Ian and me playing Repentistas (2017) here.  Enjoy!


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