William Kleinsasser's music, ranging from acoustic chamber and orchestral pieces to interactive computer music, has been supported by commissions and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Music Center , Meet the Composer, the Argosy Foundation, and Towson University . His music is recorded on the Mark and C74 labels. Kleinsasser received DM and MM degrees in composition from Indiana University School of Music and BA and BM degrees from the University of Oregon . His composition teachers include Derek Healey, Frederick Fox, and Eugene O'Brien. Kleinsasser teaches composition, computer music, and related studies at Towson University in Baltimore , MD.
Smooth Wood, Flash Metal (2003)
Smooth Wood, Flash Metal, for flute, clarinet and computer, presents a three-fold expression of musical similarities and differences. This notion plays out on many levels through the juxtaposition and transformation of musical ideas and motivic characteristics forming the compositional basis of the work. The piece is in three large sections: an extended flute solo which evolves into a duet with the computer, a duet with flute and clarinet that is augmented by computer transformation, and a clarinet solo which forms its own context through computer transformation of the live performance. The flute solo is based on alternation of continuity and discontinuity. The Clarinet solo is based on alternation of spectral focus and diffusion. The duet combines these alternations with its own metaphor of entwining and fusion. The nature of the flute's acoustic character, how it differs from the clarinet, how the two can combine and intersect, and how these differences can be projected and transformed through the computer ‘s particular idiom, are examples of how objects and relationships permeate this music. The computer music, developed using Max/MSP software, is the result of real-time processing of the music played by the flute and clarinet during the performance. In this way the computer might be considered analogous to an imaginary, fluid, aware architecture--variably resonating, diffusing, echoing, filtering, and reflecting what the acoustic instruments play. This resonant and responsive role is also expressive of the object/relationship notion at the heart of the piece.
Smooth Wood, Flash Metal was composed for flutist Lisa Cella and clarinetist E. Michael Richards both of whom provided a world of friendly advice and inspiring information, especially Michael's extensive catalog of extended techniques for clarinet. The Max/MSP processing, like many Max/MSP patches, owes much to other developers and uses standard-issue Max/MSP objects as well as Timothy Place's tap.shift, Richard Dudas' Newverb~, and fiddle~ by Miller Puckette, Ted Apel and David Zicarelli. The granular synthesis method was developed from the basic granular example offered in the Max/MSP distribution by Les & Zoax, and the spectral filtering is done with an adaptation of the Forbidden Planet patch by Zack Settel, Cort Lippe and Zoax. Thanks to Erik Oña, Cort Lippe , and Miller Puckette who offered the model for the cross-bar mixing method using menu-driven routing and the matrix~ object that is the basis of the structure of the processor and thanks to Chris Dobrian for the windowed buffer recording methods used in the piece.