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  • ¬†Quartet for Four Horns with Tape was written in 1978, as my Master’s thesis at Columbia University. I wrote it while studying with Jack Beeson and Mario Davidovsky. Professor Beeson worked with me on the horn parts, while Davidovsky was my mentor for the electronic part. While I think Davidovsky’s influence on the latter is fairly obvious in places, it’s equally obvious to anyone who knows Davidovsky’s music that he would never have written this piece. It was my first composition for tape and instruments, and the last time I ever used a razor blade as my primary tool in the electronic music studio. The electronic sounds were created on a large Buchla system in the Columbia Electronic Music Center – in the old studio at 104 Dodge Hall, to be precise. I have since cleaned up the original master using various digital noise reduction techniques, but there are still a few crackles and pops there that couldn’t be removed. (Deal with it.) I was tempted, but ultimately refrained from resynthesizing any of the original electronic sounds, which have a distinctive analog character that I still like. The work has been published and recorded, and has won several prizes, but it has been performed very rarely due to the extreme difficulty of some of the horn parts. (It’s not my fault, really. I was using Richard Strauss as a model. Nobody told me that stuff was hard, although I do remember seeing a twinkle in Jack Beeson’s eye from time to time!)¬†
  • Included on the CD Dragons in the Sky, Thomas Bacon, horn. Summit Records DCD 135