Schlagquartett Köln



















Chris Mercer

Chris Mercer received a B.M. in Composition at the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1995 and a Ph.D. in Composition at the University of California, San Diego in 2003. His principal teachers were Chaya Czernowin and Chinary Ung, instrumental music, and Peter Otto and Roger Reynolds, electronic music.
He has held artist residencies at Experimentalstudio SWR in Freiburg, Künstlerhaus Schloss Wiepersdorf, and Sound Traffic Control in San Francisco.
In his electronic music he has focused primarily on sound spatialization via multi-channel playback, using sonic materials that combine "lo-tech" analog tape music techniques with extensive digital signal processing.
His instrumental music consists of works for extended instrumental techniques, modified conventional instruments, and instruments of the composer's own design; he is currently combining this approach with real-time electronics and spatialization.
He has taught electronic music at UC San Diego, UC Irvine, and CalArts; he is currently Lecturer in Electroacoustic Music at Northwestern University.

A Snowball's Second Chance (2005)

The work is a sequel of sorts to "A Snowball's Chance" for guitar and tape (2003-4). The title refers to a carefully mitigated progressive accumulation of sonic objects/behaviors throughout the course of the work. Even to the very end, new materials are still being introduced and assimilated at predetermined time intervals. On the one hand, materials, once introduced, must remain "in play" throughout the remainder of the work, forcing an increasing motivic-behavioral congestion; on the other hand, various factors, such as fragmentation, recombination, cross-synthesis, rules governing the temporary disappearance of sonic objects, and the inherent familial inter-relatedness of certain materials work against the perception of the work as merely a "building up" of musical threads or as a simple increase in global density.
The guitars are treated here as percussion instruments, placed on their backs, firmly fixed to tables. In addition to a wide variety of more "conventional" extended playing techniques, the piece calls for a variety of special implements including brushes, combs, coins, bows, alcohol-soaked rags, and a custom egg-beater device. The guitars are also prepared with multiple capos, and two of them are restrung for extreme scordaturas.

Uraufführung am 20.Mai 2006 in Saarbrücken, Schlagquartett Köln















  von HYPERWERK 2002