Chaz Underriner

nocturne series: 3 “dry Blanco riverbed”

for alto flute, bass clarinet, trumpet, piano 4 hands, violin and violincello and field recording [ 12′ ]

Written for the MAM.manufaktur für aktuelle musik ensemble for the Darmstadt summer course. Selected for reading by MAM ensemble for the Darmstadt summer course, July, 2012.


program note
The environment of nocturne series: 3 has been created as a meditation of the original field recording of the dry Blanco riverbed in Wimberley, Texas, which serves as the inspiration for the nocturne series as a whole.

This audio contains a subtle mixture of synthetic sounds with the original field recording, creating an abstracted portrait of a specific time/space. My goal is to vividly present the sounds of the riverbed by enmeshing it into the atmosphere of the performance environment. This is an attempt to transcend artificial representation and capture the moment’s true reality in sound, much like Japanese landscape painters capture the essence of a place by using mostly negative space.

The live pitched instruments will both activate the performance space and blend into the field recording in order to stimulate the overall sonic assemblage. This will be achieved by the edges of human perception, the very quiet, in order to draw attention to ignored sounds in the environment. The nocturne series is an exploration of “in-between-ness”: sounds in between music and environment, in between representation and reality, in between nothingness and the contingency of silence.