MEMETERIA by Thomas May

Music & the Arts

David Jaffe: The Space Between Us

JaffeDavid Aaron Jaffe

Recommended event in Seattle: David A. Jaffe’s The Space Between Us on Saturday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m. at the Chapel Performance Space.

Jaffe is a San Francisco-based composer and performer with a special interest in computer music innovation (Silicon Valley Breakdown); he’s also a software developer and writer.

The Space Between Us, commissioned by the San Francisco Other Minds Festival and dedicated to Jaffe’s mentor, the legendary Henry Brant, receives its Seattle premiere. The work mixes acoustic instruments with “robotic percussion instruments” created by sound sculptor and maverick composer Trimpin.

Jaffe offers this background:

“It combines the remarkable ‘radiodrum’ 3D controller, which Seattle percussionist Andrew Schloss has pioneered, with Trimpin’s transformations of funky pre-war instruments I inherited from spatial music pioneer (and Pulitzer Prize-winner) Henry Brant, as well as eight string players distributed throughout the hall.”

Jaffe explains that Brant died before he could realize a collaboration he had been planning with Trimpin: “I was in Santa Barbara packing up for shipment the instruments that he left me in his will, and I got the idea of approaching Trimpin to see if he would be interested in doing a piece with these instruments in honor of Brant. He was enthusiastic so, at the very last minute, while standing at the UPS counter, I changed the destination address and sent the instruments directly to Trimpin….”

More info on the work, including reviews, can be found here.

The program will also include Jaffe’s virtuoso fiddle showpiece Cluck Old Hen Variations, “which sounds like what Paganini might have written if he were from Kentucky,” and Impossible Animals for computer voices, “in which the brain of a bird is transplanted into a wildly-gifted computer-generated soprano.”

The all-woman Lafayette String Quartet — for whom Jaffe has written several quartets — will additionally perform Shostakovich’s String Quartet No. 9 and English composer Rebecca Clarke’s Poem.

Filed under: instruments, new music

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