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Flamethrower Vol. 1-3: Innovation In Multidisciplinary Electronic And Acoustic Music

Electronic music is largely viewed by the music academic community as a boundless frontier for innovation. However, very few electronic music projects have been produced by students of the University of Denver’s Lamont School of Music. Flamethrower, Vol. 1-3 is a series of three EPs (short albums) that combine jazz, classical, and commercial electronic music to produce an artistic work in which the perception, function, and musical context of electronic instruments is challenged. I approached these compositions treating electronic components as instruments, writing out scores as I would for brass and wind instruments. I also utilized cutting edge electronic hardware (such as the Arturia Minifreak Algorithmic Synthesizer and the Chase Bliss Lossy Digital Artifact Generator) to generate degenerated, fragmented, and evolving sounds.

This type of in-depth sound design allowed me to write, perform, and record novel parts for unique instruments. The remainder of the sounds on these recordings incorporate sampling of field recordings to generate new instruments or soundscapes and unconventional recordings of woodwinds (saxophone, clarinet, flute, bass clarinet, and alto flute) from Professor Remy Le Boeuf, my faculty partner. Working on Flamethrower, Vol. 1-3 has allowed me to push the boundaries of what I am capable of creatively. By treating electronic hardware as an instrument in a more traditional sense, I was able to take the synthesizers and effects units on their own terms and write far more successfully. Once the music I’ve recorded and produced is released, it will likely show others within our community that experimenting with electronics is a viable and respectable avenue within music academia.