A Study of 21st-Century Works for Clarinet and Multimedia Featuring Three Newly Commissioned Works for Clarinet and Electronics with Visuals
In the fast-paced, technology-driven society of today, new demands are placed on artists to re-think how music is presented and communicated to the world. Access to the internet, development of sound manipulation software, and broader means of use and distribution through the digital music industry have drastically shifted the way the twenty-first century artist creates and performs music. One of the most striking changes that occurred is the increased use of visual material as a vehicle to enhance and contribute to the depth and intrigue of live performances and recordings.
This project researches twenty-first century works for clarinet and multimedia that specifically include a visual element (including but not limited to images, fixed and interactive video, light effects, and choreography) and highlights the prevalence of this genre in contemporary repertoire. Discussion begins with a brief overview of the history of multimedia, its relation to the clarinet, and how it has been defined by the twenty-first century. Additionally, in order to contribute to this ever-growing repertoire, three new works for clarinet and multimedia were commissioned in collaboration with composers and visual artists. These new works include: Roadrunner (2019) for clarinet and fixed electronics by Spencer Brand with video by Samuel Proctor; I’d known this place (2020) for clarinet and electronics by Dan Caputo with live audio generative animations by Andrew Robinson; and Spectral Passages (2020) for clarinet and electronics by Alvaro Varas with painting by Miguel Godoy. Background information and performance guides are included for each piece to aid future musicians in performance, as well as respective audio/video recordings. Finally, a significant portion of this document includes a catalog of works for clarinet and multimedia. The catalog was compiled by focusing on the output of twenty-first century composers to serve as a resource for future performers.