Vox Clamantis, for flute, violin, and computer, was commissioned by the reACT duo (Francesca Arnone, flute, and Mikylah McTeer, violin). It is an interactive work in which the computer captures and processes the sounds of the instruments and uses them to generate an electronic accompaniment in real time. The title comes from the Latin, Vox Clamantis in Deserto, which is often translated as “a voice crying in the wilderness.” It has several meanings in this piece, but the most obvious one refers to the nature of the musical interplay between the flute, violin, and computer. The opening dyads in the violin can be thought of as “cries,” which are processed and echoed by the computer, but ignored by the flute. Eventually, though, the flute does answer, and in the ensuing music, partners with the violin. At various times in the course of the piece, the roles change. Sometimes the flute calls and the violin responds; sometimes the computer reacts to the instruments and sometimes the instruments participate in something the computer has initiated. In the end, they all work together. Maybe this will happen in Washington one day! RP
Included on Ravello RR7921 Russell Pinkston: Balancing Acts, as well as on Ravello RR7930: REACT, Music for Flute, Violin, and Interactive Computer.