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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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