Kamelle-On (2018) · 10.5 min

for Saenghwang and 4-Speaker Audio

Korean saengwhang, fixed media (Mac laptop running Max/MSP)

Written for Gamin Kang

Program Note

Kamelle-On (카멜레온) is the word for “chameleon” in Korean. Written for multi-instrumentalist and virtuoso Gamin Kang, it speaks to her incredible ability to change traditions, styles, and instruments on a moment’s notice. The word also refers to the changing colors and textures that I sought to employ in this work for live signal processing of saenghwang and pre-recorded fixed media distributed over 4 speakers. The fixed media in this work is based on saenghwang samples pre-recorded by Gamin.

Kamelle-On was premiered by Gamin Kang at the International Computer Music Conference (ICMC) in Daegu, Korea (August 7, 2018); and was later presented at the School for Music and Theater in Hamburg, Germany, in a specially devised fixed media format (11:1) optimized for the unveiling of the Hochschule’s new $2 million Meyer sound system consisting of 142 loudspeakers and 50 microphones. This event, called “Stage_2.0” was funded by the “Innovative Hochschule” grant, a joint initiative of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and the Joint Science Conference; the concert took place on January 17, 2020.

Special thanks to Joel Gordon, who prepared the 11:1 surround sound format (recording on November 13, 2019; mastering on December 31, 2019). The presented sound file is a stereo version of the 11:1 surround sound mix presented in Hamburg.

The notated solo part for the saenghwang is drawn from events within the originally composed electroacoustic fixed media accompaniment. Special thanks to Gamin for working with me on preparing the solo part, so that it is written idiomatically for her instrument.

The saenghwang is a Korean mouth organ derived from the Chinese sheng, though its tuning is different. It is constructed from 17 bamboo pipes, each with a metal free reed, mounted vertically in a windchest (a component of a pipe organ on which the pipes sit). It is considered to be a free read aerophone (wind instrument) and fits within the family of instruments including harmonicas, pitch pipes, accordions, and reed organs.

Sound check – Kamelle-On for saenghwang and 4-speaker audio by Anthony Paul De Ritis featuring Gamin
Kamelle-On for saenghwang and 4-speaker audio by Anthony Paul De Ritis featuring Gamin
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Concert Program