Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Herbert Brün

Herbert Brün began his work as an electronic music composer in the late 1950s, in Paris, at the WDR (Cologne) and at the Siemens studio (Munich). He continued his work in the electronic studio at the faculty of the University of Illinois and began research on composition with computers, which resulted in pieces for tape and instruments, tape alone, and graphics (some to be performed by interpreters). In the late 1960s, Brün created his own programs in FORTRAN. Brün took a new direction in 1972, leading to his 'Sawdust' compositions. The goal was to create sounds that were unfamiliar and new.
He was a pioneer in the development of computer music, recognized as a thinker who focused on musical process, creativity, language and thought, performance and everyday life. His concerns included the social functions of composer and listener, communication, originality, and the human implications of various compositional processes. You can find Brün's important lectures and articles (with excerpts from his book 'When Music Resists Meaning') here:

[Herbert Brün - Interviews, Articles, Public Talks, and Skits]

"It is one thing to search for events that will produce the sound one wants, and quite another to discover the sound of the events one wants. In the first case the wanted sound renders desirable the necessary events; in the second the wanted events are the standard for the desirability of the resulting sound. These are not only two different approaches to the composition of music, but also two different political attitudes."


SAWDUST is the fourth in a series of four CDs containing the complete works of Herbert Brün. This CD contains Brün's music with sounds generated largely by his computer program 'Sawdust', which he wrote in the 1970s.

"The computer program which I called SAWDUST allows me to work with the smallest parts of waveforms, to link them and to mingle or merge them with one another. Once composed, the links and mixtures are treated, by repetition, as periods, or by various degrees of continuous change, as passing moments of orientation in a process of transformations."

[SAWDUST samples - via emfmedia.org]