|PROJECT | LOSING TOUCH|
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Losing Touch (duration 11') for vibraphone and fixed electronics was composed in 1994. The piece is published by Billaudot Editions (Catalog #GB7027) in Paris (Theodor Presser, US representative). A complete published edition with rehearsal CD and mono performance tape is available for student performance from several on-line dealers. Professional presentations of Losing Touch require rental of materials directly from the publisher.
Composed at the IRCAM computer music center in Paris in the summer of 1994, Losing Touch uses a fixed electronic part made of vibraphone samples and vibraphone-like sounds working in synchrony with a live vibraphone virtuoso. The live musician receives an in-ear conductor signal that insures split-second synchronization between the electronic and the acoustic world.
A living musician inhabits and interacts with the real world, engaging the physical instrument with a subtle human touch. The live musician has a physical and mental limit. In contrast, the electronic world can endlessly execute any conceivable passage. Artificial by nature, the electro-acoustic environment substitutes its lack of expressive ability with unlimited activity and color.
The human performer in Losing Touch begins the relationship with the electronic world in a naïve spirit, a spirit of mutual cooperation. As the piece nears its end, the electronics push beyond the limits of human performance. Ultimately, the live soloist, being robbed of the more expressive aspects of performance, "loses touch.” By the end, the machine and human occupy different worlds, and the illusion of cooperation is shattered. The composition is dedicated to composer John Harbison.
In 1999, Danielle Jaeggi and Les Films d’Ici produced the film Losing Touch, a documentary of Edmund Campion and the making of the piece Losing Touch.
Losing Touch performance details
The fixed electronic part (to use a terminology better adapted to digital media) is available in three forms. For professional concerts the electronic support is either an A-DAT 8-channel digital tape or three individual sound files. In both cases, only three channels of audio are used, two channels for stereo diffusion and one channel for the clicktrack. For student recitals and rehearsal the electronic support is CD. Because digital media is evolving, it is important to verify with the editor the current available methods for diffusing the electronic part of Losing Touch.
The 8-channel digital A-DAT or the sound files are to be used for PUBLIC CONCERTS of LOSING TOUCH. The multi-channel support is available for rental from Editions Gérard Billaudot (14 rue de l’Echiquier - 75010 Paris - FRANCE). In the United States, or from Theodor Presser Company (588 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406).
The Compact Disk that is included in the purchase of the score of LOSING TOUCH is intended for rehearsals, student recitals and master classes only. Public Concerts of Losing Touch using the mono-mix CD are EXCLUSIVELY FORBIDDEN.
All forms of digital media include a syncronizing « click-track » that permits coordination between the fixed electronic sounds and the soloist. The performer wears a headphone in order to hear the click-track. Special care should be taken to insure that the click-track is never heard by the audience nor amplified along with the live vibraphone.
Selected Performance History of Losing Touch
Losing Touch, San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, San Francisco, April 30, 2007
1999-2000 Losing Touch, Paulo Oliveira, Porto, Portugal, September
1998-99 Losing Touch, ICTUS Ensemble, Porto, Portugal, July
1996-97 Losing Touch, Meltdown Festival, Royal Festival Hall, London, July
1995 Losing Touch, Vincent Limouzin, IRCAM, Paris, January