To Mind (12:00) (2005):
"..the electronic media are to us what nature…was to earlier times--the inescapable background against which we live our lives and from which we derive our references and meanings." (Steven Shaviro)
In 1993, I composed a short (and simple piece) entitled "In the Dark." It was made from a small sample of vocalist and percussionist David Moss's voice, which I played on a Yamaha synthesizer to create the background, and the cry of a single animal. Against the background of the human voice, the cry evoked a sense of terrible loneliness and loss. Nature on its last legs, as it were.
Calling to Mind, commissioned by Deep Wireless 2005, an annual radio festival in Toronto, Canada, is comprised of "space-time communication" in which the human voice can only just be heard and only briefly at that. No longer the stuff of which the compositional background is made, it is simply a very small part of an environment of electronic media sounds--and that's the piece.
The sounds used in Calling To Mind are drawn from 25 years of recording. They come from Alaska, upstate New York, Sweden, radio, the Internet -- the many places I have been in my years of involvement with sound -- places inadvertently called to mind as I composed.
9_11_01 Scapes (17:03)
Jo-Anne Green. Green began Scapes the day the World Trade Center was
attacked and continued to add new pages in the aftermath. She used the
only 'medium' available to her at the time: Photoshop. Her 'palette'
consisted of NASA images of earth, and photographs of diatoms and Ground
Zero. Each Scape consists of multiple layers: Thorington used the layers'
titles, and the texts that accompanied the NASA images to weave her
multilayered narrative for the Notes; and much as Green used found 'pigments',
Thorington used found sounds to create the rich soundscore for the series.
(10:49) (2000): a series of performance events
with full sound scores performed in multiple physical locations and streamed
over the Internet. Thorington wrote the texts, provided the original photographs
and contributed ambient and musical selections to the sound. She also
contributed live voice narratives for several performances. Adrift
was performed at Ars Electronica,
Linz, Austia, and at the New Museum of Contemporary
Art, New York City.
This particular score was created by Thorington for the 1999 Adrift demo. It includes materials from earlier performances with the ensemble Nina Sobel, Emily Hartzel, Scott Rosenberg and Jesse Gilbert.
Mountain (39:00) (2003) Composed for Bill
T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1980, this re-composed piece was
recently perfomed live at Jacob's Pillow, MA and The Kitchen, New York
a Universe, Part 1 (19:53) (1986):
an experimental drama that focuses on contemporary technologies such as
cloning, crossbreeding, and the ability to exchange body parts. Commissioned
by New Music America,
Houston, Texas, 1986. Distributed by New American Radio, 1990.
a Universe, Part 2: Rifts, Absences and Omissions(26:22) (1987): Satiric and experimental
new drama that focuses on the new reproductive technologies and the scientists
responsible for their development. "I will get a Nobel, I will..." While
shaped into dramatic scenes, the text is based on the actual statements
and writings of scientists. Providing associational and causal links between
sounds (an old record, semi military aerobic exercises, textbook lessons
on female infanticide and the new technologies), Building A Universe creates
an incredibly funny and disturbing picture of an active and unregulated
new science, preparing a future with unexpected and undiscussed implications.
Dracula's Wives (12:00) (1992): An otherworldly geography peopled by the disembodied voices of the undead; a radio film, at times operatic in its approach, about women vampires, their bond with the vampire of all vampires, Dracula. Inspired by the single reference to Dracula's wives in Bram Stoker's novel. With the vampire voices of Pamela Z and Agnieszka Waligorska, and the cello of Deidre Murray.
Dracula's Wives was commissioned by RNE
(Spanish Radio) for its Madrid festival, Ciudades
Invisibles. It was subsequently aired by RNE and internationally
as part of the 1993 Ars Acustica Listening Project
and by New American Radio.
Sequence, Parts 1 2 & 3 (15:18) (1979)
One of the first compositions for radio to make use of electronic processing,
The Dream Sequence unfolds associationally, its lyrical text reflecting
humorously on the author's rural experience and her concern for personal
|Fleeting Encounters (20:49) (1999): eight minute version commissioned for the series A Patchwork Planet by BBC Radio 3. (TOP)|
Monkey Run Road (29:50)
(2003): Composed for Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company in 1980, this
re-composed piece recently accompanied "Continuous Replay" at
The Kitchen, New York City, 2003.
Country (32:00) (1995): A hypertext-inspired
story for radio. North Country uses short blocks or fragments of
texts to shape a web of linked ideas centering around the discovery of
the bones of an unidentified woman. The cast of characters includes a
forensics expert, a lawyer, a dead woman, and another woman who travels
in a text based virtual world similar to the biological world once inhabited
by the dead woman; a tamarack tree and the eleven Eastern woodrats remaining
in New York State. With accordionist Guy Klucsevek.
North Country was commissioned by Meet the Composer with additional funding from New York State Council on the Arts. It was distributed to U.S. public radio as part of the New American Radio series and by The Listening Room, ABC, Australia and Kunstradio, ORF, Austria.
Talk (5:00) (1986): Controlled insanity
in sound. A work about repetition and entropy. Told with recordings from
Parrot Jungle, Miami, feedback, carnival music, static and other anathema
of the broadcast world. Winner of First Prize
in Macrophon '91, the First
International Festival of Radio Art, Wroclaw,
(Land of the Imagination) (26:09) (1990):
A sound composition in which the artist evokes a landscape and tells a
story without a text. Originally commissioned as an audio installation
for a riverside cave in Mattera, Italy, Terra reflects the artist's view
of the place for which it was intended but which she had not as yet seen:
wet, quiet, and dark but inhabited by multitudes of insects and small
mammals. The story is that of a solitary person paddling through these
|Training (for Jo) (5:00) (2004): with Diedre Murray, Cello.|
Turbulence (35:22) (1997): with Joseph Celli (Yamaha WX7 midi breath controller) and Nick Didkovsky (guitar). The piece is an open-ended sound composition that centers around the theme of Turbulence. It began with Thorington's tape of an imaginary geography in which myriad sound events took place. The composition was then enlarged and altered as musiciansCelli and Didkovskyinteracted with it in real-time performances. The taped composition was revised after each performance to include aspects of the improvised materials.
Turbulence was conceived and executed by Thorington
for PORTa simultaneous presentation of
digital art on the Internet and @ the List Center for Visual Arts at
MIT. Performances took place at el.net studios in NYC and via RealAudio
online every Friday, January 31 through March 28, 1997.
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