Ted Moore’s squall was commissioned by me in 2018 after I came across another one of his works, fiery walls, which also appears on this album. squall is a wild sounding work where the trumpet interacts with the fixed media with the use of a simple hand-held dynamic microphone such as a Shure SM-57.
This work stretches my original conception of Live Electronics and Interactive Electronics being synonyms. In squallthe only “electronic” sounds being created live are the trumpet imitating the tape using a microphone. However, the trumpet needs to interact with the fixed-media throughout the entire work.
Moore gave the following instructions:
“The timings in the score correspond to the time in the tape part. These timings are approximate (only to avoid indicating down to the tenth of a second)–when a “hit” or event in the tape sounds very near to a timing in the trumpet part, they should be considered simultaneous and practiced to execute those trumpet hits simultaneously with the tape. The “Tape” staff on the score helps highlight some of these moments and is intended to be a visual and memory aid for the form of the tape part during performance.
When a squiggly line is drawn on the staff (the first of which is in m. 3), play using random fast fingerings, mostly in the half-valve position to create murmuring cry through the instrument. One doesn’t need to necessarily follow the contour of the line, more important is to imitate the energy and chaos of the tape part. (In m. 28, do follow general contour of the line, moving up to the hits on F and G).
At 6:00 (and sim. later), put the bell of the trumpet right up on the microphone (touching it, even resting on it) so that the internal sounds of the trumpet get amplified. Use key clicks, air sounds, air flutter tongue, air growls, mouth pops, tongue rams, slides clicking in and out, valves releasing air pressure created by slides, and any other non-lip-buzzing-based sounds to imitate the sounds from the tape in this section. Imitate timbre, repetition, phrasing, energy, dynamics, etc. Breathe ad lib and feel free to take short breaks to refocus the energy. When engaged in imitation, maintain a very focused high energy on the different sounds being made. I imagine this will take a fair amount of practice to build fluidity combining these extended techniques into compelling phrases.
squall is intended to be performed quite loud, using a microphone on the trumpet for slight amplification and blending with the tape. When indicated, the trumpet player puts the instrument right up against the microphone (see above) to amplify the internal sounds of the instrument.”
To interact with squall and create a compelling musical performance I needed to both master the composed gestures from the score, but also listen to and memorize the seemingly random sounding fixed media part. Having an understanding of both of these static elements allows me to effectively improvise in the squiggly line and other improvised sections to help create connective tissue that authentically imitates the tape part.