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SUFFICIENT TROUBLE

COMPOSITIONS FOR COMPUTER, LIVE INSTRUMENTS, AND VOICE

 

BRIAN BELET

 

 

OVERVIEW

 

With SUFFICIENT TROUBLE, his debut release on Ravello Records, composer and performer Brian Belet offers a selection of computer music composed over the last twenty years. Featuring acoustic instruments and responsive electronic materials the disc offers a degree of variety in timbre and musical content that is sometimes lacking in electronic music. In Lyra, the album’s opening track, Belet establishes an aural world in which the organic material and electronic content merge seamlessly, clearly defining the musical language to come as the album progresses.

 

A sense of musical humor and clear intent runs throughout Belet’s work, and one quickly concludes that the composer, while wonderfully fluent and virtuosic in his chosen medium, is not at all above poking fun at tradition. Name Droppings, assembled from fragments of spoken text, is crafted solely using quotations from program notes and biographies the composer encountered while attending concerts. The resulting piece, with narrative thrusts provided by unexpected textual content, succeeds as both a strong composition and humorous commentary on the concertgoing experience.

 

While Belet proves adept throughout this release at crafting strongly evocative electronic materials, his writing for acoustic instruments also shines through in the works that draw from mixed disciplines. In various pieces, strings, brass, and the piano all interact with electronic materials, often leading to shimmering textural content. By often utilizing responsive electronics and real time controls, as in (Disturbed) Radiance and Still Harmless [BASS]ically, Belet allows for the ‘performance’ element to remain a crucial, and often defining aspect, of these selections. Still Harmless [BASS]ically presents the electric bass in an electronic environment for which it is aptly suited. Harmonics and wide-ranging bass flourishes weave in and out of responsive electronic surroundings, creating an atmospheric palette that is at once intriguing and impressively emotive.

 

Remembering Allen, the final track on SUFFICIENT TROUBLE, is an audio miniature paying glowing tribute to the late Allen Strange, and, as the album’s final statement, reiterates Belet’s strong grasp of the emotive depths of which electronic music is capable.

 

CREDITS

 

Lyra

Recorded June 11, 2002

at Big Red Studios in Bainbridge Island WA

Recording Engineer Allen Strange

Post-production October 9, 2016 at LIGO Studios

in Scotts Valley CA

Audio Engineer Lee Ray

 

Still Harmless [BASS]ically

Recorded January 14, 2004 at Big Red Studios

in Bainbridge Island WA

Recording Engineer Allen Strange

Post-production July 1, 2016 at Left Edge Studio

in Campbell CA

Audio Engineer Brian Belet

 

Name Droppings

Live realization recorded and mixed June 30, 2016

at Left Edge Studio in Campbell CA

Audio Engineer Brian Belet

 

difference (no doubt it queues) / an abstract (difference (queues))

Realized and recorded January 1997

at the Center for Research in Electro-Acoustic Music [CREAM],

San Jose State University in San Jose CA

Post-production October 9, 2016 at LIGO Studios

in Scotts Valley CA

Audio Engineer Lee Ray

 

(Disturbed) Radiance

Recorded October 23, 2016 at Fantasy Studios in Berkeley CA

Recording Engineer David Luke

Post-production October 29 & November 20, 2016

at LIGO Studios in Scotts Valley CA

Audio Engineer Lee Ray

 

System of Shadows

Several full performance takes recorded April 7, 9, & 11, 2009

at Open Path Music in San Jose CA

Recording Engineer Lee Ray

Post-production April 22 & 24, 2016

at LIGO Studios in Scotts Valley CA

Audio Engineer Lee Ray

 

Sea Lion Mix

Field recordings January 6, 2009

at the Santa Cruz Wharf in Santa Cruz CA

Recording Engineer Brian Belet

Live realization recorded and mixed June 30, 2016

at Left Edge Studio in Campbell CA

Audio Engineer Brian Belet

 

Summer Phantoms: Nocturne

Recorded December 21, 2013

at Distler Hall, Granoff Music Center, Tufts University

in Somerville MA

Recording Engineer Joel Gordon

Post-production October 7, 2016

at LIGO Studios in Scotts Valley CA

Audio Engineer Lee Ray

 

Remembering Allen

Recorded March 25, 2008 at Left Edge Studio

in Campbell CA

Recording Engineer Brian Belet

Post-production October 7, 2016 at LIGO Studios

in Scotts Valley CA

Audio Engineer Lee Ray

 

Production of this CD was underwritten in part with a

Professional Development Grant from the College of

Humanities and the Arts, San Jose State University, 2016.

 

While all of these compositions have been performed

at numerous festivals, conferences, and concerts, high

profile performances have been flagged in the

detailed notes for the International Computer Music

Conference [ICMC], Society for Electro-Acoustic

Music in the United States conference [SEAMUS],

Electronic Music Midwest festival [EMM], Kyma

International Sound Symposium [KISS], New York City

Electroacoustic Music Festival [NYCEMF], Society of

Composers, Inc. conference [SCI], and the Florida

Electroacoustic Music Festival [FEMF].

 

Cover painting by Marianne Bickett (Sufficient Trouble,

watercolor, © 2016 M. Bickett, All Rights Reserved)

 

Produced by Brian Belet

 

All compositions licensed through BMI

 

Executive Producer Bob Lord

Executive A&R Sam Renshaw

A&R Chris Robinson

Engineering Manager Lucas Paquette

Design & Marketing Director Brett Picknell

Design Ryan Harrison

 

Release Date: July 14, 2017

Catalog #: RR7969

 

 

TRACK TITLES

 

Lyra (2002) Violin & Kyma

Patricia Strange violin

 

2  Still Harmless [BASS]ically (2000) Electric Bass & Kyma

Brian Belet electric bass

 

3  Name Droppings (2008) Voices & Kyma

 

4  difference (no doubt it queues) (1997)

Computer-processed Voice

 

5 an abstract (difference (queues)) (1997)

Computer-processed Voice

 

6  (Disturbed) Radiance (2003) Piano & Kyma

Janis Mercer piano

 

System of Shadows (2007) Trumpet, Flugelhorn & Kyma

Stephen Ruppenthal C trumpet & Bb flugelhorn

7 I. Aurora Borealis

8  II. Andromeda’s Dream

9  III. Zephyr Apparition

 

10  Sea Lion Mix (2009)

Sea Lions, Voices & Kyma

 

11 Summer Phantoms: Nocturne (2011) Piano & Kyma

Keith Kirchoff piano

 

12  Remembering Allen (2008) Voice & Kyma

Brian Belet voice

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

Brian Belet is a composer and cofounder of the ensemble SoundProof, with which he performs using Kyma, viola, and bass.

 

He is highly active in the electronic and new music communities, having published research in Contemporary Music Review, Perspectives of New Music, and other publications.

 

Belet often takes advantage of the Kyma sound design environment’s live programming and sound processing capabilities, creating works in which electronics and acoustic instruments truly interact. By processing acoustic sounds through Kyma as they are occurring, he creates a unified sound world allowing for the best of acoustic, electronic, and combined elements to shine.

 

Performers Patricia Strange and Stephen Ruppenthal, appearing on Lyra and System of Shadows respectively, also perform with Brian Belet in SoundProof, an ensemble they cofounded in 2009.

 

Belet is a Professor of music at San Jose State University in California.

 

 

ALSO ON RAVELLO RECORDS

 

BALANCING ACTS (RR7921)

Russel Pinkston

 

 

© RAVELLO RECORDS LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

 

Ravello Records is the contemporary classical label imprint of audio production house PARMA Recordings. Dedicated to highlighting forward thinking composers and musicians from around the world, the New England-based label's eclectic catalog offers listeners a cross-section of today's up-and-coming innovators in orchestral, chamber, and experimental music.

 

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