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Arnold Dreyblatt, Nodal Excitation



Arnold Dreyblatt's Nodal Excitation (1979) recorded live in September 2012 at a performance from Brooklyn's ISSUE Project Room.

Arnold Dreyblatt’s notes on this solo work for his amplified "excited strings" acoustic bass:

In the spring of 1979, I was approached to perform at a downtown performance festival in New York. I had been developing a repertoire of isolated percussive and bowed attacks, and these evolved into a continuous rhythmic technique in which I could excite chords of overtones above the fundamental.

The performance considers the location and influence of the acoustic Nodal Regions as identified on #12 and #11 unwound music wire stretched on an acoustic double bass body (40.5" speaking length). The integrity of a fundamental vibration is maintained for both strings at all times; all movement of pitch occurs in the overtone structure. A shorter speaking length is never created through "stopping" or "fretting" techniques. Rather, harmonic, partial vibrations are calculated, coaxed, and are occasionally isolated at the nodes of the string.

Arnold Dreyblatt (born in New York City, 1953) is a composer, performer and visual artist. He studied music with Pauline Oliveros, La Monte Young, and Alvin Lucier and has been based in Berlin, Germany since 1984. Among the second generation of New York minimal composers, Dreyblatt developed a unique approach to composition and music performance. As he began his music in the late 1970's in New York, he invented a set of new and original instruments, performance techniques, and system of tuning and in addition has formed and led numerous ensembles under the title The Orchestra of Excited Strings. In 2007, he was elected to the German Academy of Art (Akademie der Künste, Berlin). He is currently Professor for Media Art at the Muthesius Academy of Art and Design in Kiel.

Dreyblatt has been composing music for his own and other ensembles for over thirty years. Often characterized as the most rock-oriented of American minimalists, Dreyblatt has cultivated a strong underground fan base for his transcendental and ecstatic music with his Orchestra of Excited Strings. Dreyblatt's music has been released on such leading avante-garde labels as: Table of the Elements, Tzadik, Hat Art and Cantaloupe and his music has been performed by Jim O'Rourke, Kevin Drumm, David Grubbs, Jason Kahn, Bang On A Can All-Stars, Pellegrini Quartet, Crash Ensemble and countless others.
 

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A series of programs recorded live in performance produced by Brooklyn's ISSUE Project Room, a center for innovation, discovery, development, and presentation of new music, sound, dance, performance, literature, video, and film. ISSUE Project Room is a pioneering performance center, presenting projects by both emerging and established experimental artists that expand the boundaries of artistic practice and stimulate critical dialogue about art and culture in the broader community. A 503 (c) nonprofit founded by Suzanne Fiol in 2003, ISSUE plays a vital role in NYC’s cultural ecology, facilitating the commission and premiere of more than 20 new works each year and presenting a diverse array of artists working across the disciplines of music, sound, dance, performance, literature, video, and film. ISSUE places a special focus on bringing recognition to artists whose important contributions to the creative field have been under-recognized, often as a result of gender, sexuality, or geographic location. Through the incubation of innovative new work, ISSUE performs an essential research and development function that stimulates a constant influx of ideas into the local, national, and international creative landscape.
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