Date of Submission

Spring 2012

Academic Program


Project Advisor 1

Bob Bielecki

Project Advisor 2

Marina Rosenfeld

Abstract/Artist's Statement

Eliah Gardner- Artist Statement

My ultimate goal for my senior project was to create music that speaks for itself, and can be appreciated without any knowledge of creation process, artistic intention, or historical background of any kind. I feel that too much of this type of art relies on external information to legitimize a piece, or sway the listener into appreciation of a work. My aim was to create a sound that is simply moving, without any contrived meaning inflicted by the artist. I hope to stray as far away as possible from a forced intellectual appreciation of my work, and attempt to evoke a more personal experience from any listener, whether it be emotional, physical, or spiritual. I realize that this department does not focus on the physical effects that music and sound have on the human body and soul, but for me the most interesting and powerful thing about music is that it is moving, whether it moves the listener to dance, cry, meditate, or punch someone in the face. I feel that much of the type of experimental music we focus on in this department focuses solely on a cerebral appreciation of the art, and often does not reach many parts of the soul or body. I would feel successful if I could express and evoke emotion with my work, and even more so if I could illicit a physical reaction. Life is infinitely complex, and I find beauty in its simplification. Sound and music can lead to this simplification.

Throughout the year I attempted to explore as many methods of music creation as possible, and strove to find a sound that was my own. The biggest frustration over the year was feeling torn between creating work that is enjoyed by myself, my faculty, and my peers. It proved difficult to find a sound that is appreciated both in and out of the classroom setting.

For my senior concert I wanted to showcase my years work in a unique and engaging environment. I attempted to create a listening space that would enable the audience to become completely immersed in sound. The arrangement of the room facilitated a more interesting and exciting listening experience, and changed the dynamic between audience and performer.

At my final concert I played a variety of my work from over the year. The majority of these pieces were created in Ableton Live, with the help of various external Plug-Ins and an MPK-25 midi keyboard. I will briefly describe the construction of each piece in the order they were played:

The first piece was a humorous and engaging mix of Carlos Jobim french horn and violins, pornographic moans, cat meowing, lighthearted elevator synths, crisp hats, and a heavy hitting trap bassline. I started the performance with this piece to catch the attention of the audience and set a playful, upbeat tone. The second piece represented the culmination of my work with Massive VST. It featured a dubstep influenced drum track, with layers of Massive synth lines, glitchy snippets, and processed vocal samples. The next piece was a combination of Tal-Noismaker, FM8, and Massive VST tracks interacting with a reversed and heavily processed Erik Satie composition. The following piece titled “Alone” is comprised of layered sine waves generated from an Ableton Operator-Component instrument. I feel that sine waves lend themselves to the mood I was attempting to capture in the sense that they are pure, solitary and grave. The fifth composition featured a sample from a Fleetwood Mac song, Massive VST, recordings of twigs breaking, and a recording of a mortar exploding. The piece was composed for a dance, and performed with 15 students from the dance department. Following the dance piece came a rhythmic piece featuring heavily processed percussive field recordings such as twigs breaking and a TV being smashed on the ground. The material was run through various delay effects. The piece was presented along with a MAX/MSP Jitter video patch that created a geometric visual interpretation of the sound. I designed the visualizer with the help of my advisor Bob Beilecki, and it was projected through four different projectors onto the walls and ceiling of the performance space. The next piece was a frightening sound-scape presented in total darkness. The piece is constructed of approximately 30 recordings spliced and layered together, along with a TAL VST. The following piece was an attempt at emulating an analogue electric sound with Digital VSTs. This composition acted as a recovery or rebirth from the darkness of the previous piece.

The subsequent piece was loosely composed for turntable with vinyl records, masking tape, and acoustic bass. It had a meandering archo bass melody interacting with a low looping vinyl heartbeat and percussion. I performed this piece live accompanied by my father on bass. The final piece featured several tracks of swooping sub bass aimed at hitting the resonant frequency of every potentially resonant object in the room. The sub bass frequencies gradually evolve into a rising dissonance, and eventually an organ melody.

Distribution Options

Access restricted to On-Campus only

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

This work is protected by a Creative Commons license. Any use not permitted under that license is prohibited.

Bard Off-campus Download

Bard College faculty, staff, and students can login from off-campus by clicking on the Off-campus Download button and entering their Bard username and password.