Chaz Underriner

Landscape Series: 1

Landscape Series: 1 is 72 minute concert work for multiple chamber ensembles, 3-screen video projection, and 8.1 surround sound audio. This piece is a finalist for the Gaudeamus Award 2017. Here is a preview video of the performance of LS1 at Gaudeamus Muziekweek. The Landscape series is a collection of works that explore the notion of landscape through various combinations of field recordings, abstract video, and music written for chamber groups. This score is a realization of the series as a whole that consists of all the pieces interwoven into a 72 minute multimedia concert.

Performance at Gaudeamus Muziekweek 2017 by Modelo62 and the New Amsterdam Trombone Quartet:


The works that comprise the Landscape series are:
Backroads for video and 8-channel audio [35’]
Landscape: Graz for video, field recording and koto [60’]
Landscape: Texas Plains for violin, electric guitar and double bass [45’]
Landscape: Clarinet Trio [13’]
Landscape: Trombone Quartet [12’]

The source material of the pieces in the Landscape series concerns the translation of the notion of landscape from that of a two-dimensional static image (as in 19-century landscape painting) into a multiplicity of environmental experiences created by combining field recordings, acoustic instrumental composition, and video in a live multi-media performance context. Each of the pieces in the series evokes this hybridity of environmental experience in different ways.

The other part of my Ph.D. dissertation is The Sound-Poetry of the Instability of Reality: Mimesis and the Reality Effect in Music, Literature and Visual Art. A revised section of my dissertation—“The Sound-Poetry of the Instability of Reality: The Audio Reality Effect and Mimesis”—has been selected for publication in the Cambridge University Press journal Organised Sound and for presentation as a part of the Korean Electro Acoustic Music Conference.


This paper uses the concept of mimesis to clarify the debate concerning the representation of reality in music. Specifically, this study defines the audio reality effect and the three main practices of realism as a way of understanding mimetic practices in multiple artistic media, in particular regarding the multimedia works of the Landscape series.

After addressing the historical debates concerning mimesis, this study develops a framework for the understanding of mimesis in sound by addressing the writings of Weiss, Baudrillard, Barthes, Deleuze, and Prendergast and by examining mimetic practices in 19-century European painting and multimedia performance works. The audio reality effect is proposed as a meaningful translation of Roland Barthes’ literary reality effect to the sonic realm.

The main trends of realist practice are applied to electroacoustic music and soundscape composition using the works and writings of Emmerson, Truax, Wishart, Risset, Riddell, Smalley, Murray Schafer, Fischman, Young, and Field. Lastly, this study mimetically analyzes 2 Seconds/B Minor/Wave by Michael Pisaro and Taku Sugimoto and the works of the Landscape series in order to demonstrate the relevance of mimesis for understanding current musical practice.

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