Bravo to Ben Fingland and Jessica Meyer (pictured) who played a superb program at U of Penn last night. Calling the show “Voixtronica”, they offered a variety of pieces that combined live viola, clarinet, and keyboards with electronic sound, both pre-recorded and generated on the spot. Jessica had an uncommon array of stompboxes for her amplified viola in works by Robert Karpay, John Kaefer, and herself. Ben set aside the mouthpiece of his bass clarinet for a work by Vinko Globokar in which he spoke, shouted, sang, whispered and more directly into the instrument. (Globokar premiered Berio’s trombone Sequenza. Did Berio get the vocal effects in that piece from hearing Globokar demonstrating the techniques, or did Globokar become interested in such things because of what Berio asked him to do? I would guess the former.) Later Ben partnered with Steve Gosling at the piano for my own Icons, with its electronic sound from the analog studio of 30 years ago, and with Steve at a DX7 synthesizer, playing digital sounds from a slightly less distant past, for a work by Eric Moe. Yes, he played a real DX, so this was a performance, like certain early music performances, on an authentic instrument.
Seen below are Ben and Steve as they prepare to play Eric’s piece.