Paul Lansky

From Academic Kids

Paul Lansky (born 1944) is one of the 'original' electronic music or computer music composers who has been producing works from the seventies right up to the present day (see discography, below). A former student of George Perle, he is a professor of music composition at Princeton University, and in addition to his music is known as a pioneer in the development of computer music languages for algorithmic composition (see Real-Time Cmix). He is a former student of George Perle, Milton Babbitt, and Edward Cone.

Lansky's first album, Smalltalk was not released until 1990. It features four tracks, two covering aspects of the human voice, and two looking at two styles of music (metal and harmonica).

His second album (Homebrew, 1992) contains five tracks, including the percussive and aural 18-minute classic, "Table's Clear", featuring samples of his children playing kitchen utensils. Following that came More Than Idle Chatter, the six compositions of which focus on processings of the human voice using LPC, granular synthesis, and plucked string synthesis; its three highlights are granular synth pieces called "Idle Chatter", "just_more_idle_chatter" and "Notjustmoreidlechatter" which look at the same thing from multiple perspectives. In 1994, he released Fantasies And Tableaux, a collection of two earlier works, "Six Fantasies on a Poem by Thomas Campion" and "Still Time". 1995 brought Folk Images, Lansky's personal interpretation and reworking of a "good few folk songs."

At around this point there was a slight change in the style of Lansky's music that made it sound slightly more, for want of a better word, 'modern', and 1997 heralded a one hour 'computer opera', Things She Carried, a musical portrait about an unnamed woman in a series of eight movements. During the following year "Conversation Pieces" was released, to try and "gain a fresh perspective on things we may have come to take for granted."

For three years Lansky failed to bring out any new albums, but in early 2001 "Ride" arrived, featuring a new addition the Idle Chatter family: 'Idle Chatter Junior' and the 19 minute title piece, which tries to simulate a ride through various towns and country.

The Radiohead song "Idioteque" (Kid A, 2000) features a prominent sample from Paul Lansky's computer tape piece Mild Und Leise (1973). The sample provides the entire harmony for the song through four looping chords taken from a few seconds of Lansky's original composition. Lansky has written an essay about Radiohead that appears in The Music and Art of Radiohead.

Discography

  • Smalltalk, 1990
  • Homebrew, 1992
  • More Than Idle Chatter, 1992 or 1994(?)
  • Fantasies And Tableaux, 1994
  • Folk Images, 1995
  • Things She Carried, 1997
  • Conversation Pieces, 1998
  • Ride, 2001
  • Alphabet Book, 2002

See also

Charles Dodge.

External links

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