20 Nov 2015

MICHAEL WILLIAMS: Blade

From Resound, 7:03 pm on 20 November 2015
Michael Williams

Michael Williams Photo: michaelfwilliams.co.nz

Michael Williams is a senior lecturer in composition and electroacoustic music at the University of Waikato. He has received commissions from most of New Zealand’s major institutions, and his music is regularly broadcast on RNZ Concert. His music covers a wide range of genres including chamber music, orchestral, concerti and operas. He also maintains an interest in the digital manipulation of acoustic instruments.

His piece Blade was inspired by Len Lye’s kinetic sculpture of the same name. Although not a literal transcription of the sculpture, one can occasionally imagine the gestures of Lye’s enormous blade and the motor that sets it in motion. Sometimes gentlealmost static, at other times frenetic, with a touch of violence. Michael says: "Although I have never heard this sculpture in a live setting, I wondered about the disturbance it would cause in the air surrounding it. Perhaps this has also found its way into the score? I used digital effects as a tool to create an extended sound world."

The Irrelevants: Carrie Coffman (sax), Tim Deighton (vla). Recorded by Radio New Zealand Concert, 12 May 2006.