Glyptic Channels II by Christopher Douthitt
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“Glyptic Channels II” is a semi-installed, semi-composed piece created for Bob Hoffnar’s Mood Illusion and the ersatz Standing Wave Orchestra. The piece is a sonic tribute the feeling of contemplation and proto-thought. A bed of natural sound reimagines The Museum of Human Achievement as both an interior and exterior experience, which the combined ensemble joins to create waves of complex, glowing harmony. Stretches of wandering attention give way to moments of intense focus; inarticulate voices suddenly finds themselves making sense.
Originally performed in Princeton’s 277-foot long university chapel, “Glyptic Channels II” is adapted for the specific instrumental forces and skills of composer / pedal steel guitarist Bob Hoffnar, along with Hoffnar’s and Douthitt’s network of Austin collaborators. The ensemble will include traditional acoustic instruments (horns, contrabass, and percussion), newly invented electronic instruments (the Standing Wave Orchestra’s “metallocean,” which evokes the liquid sound of resonant metals bowed as if the were strings), and fixed media sound design (field recordings, voices). In this soundscape of juxtapositions, Bob Hoffnar’s pedal steel will seek liminal spaces to bring to the fore.
Christopher Douthitt is a composer, vocalist-guitarist, and electronic musician from Spokane, Washington. His music draws on eclectic sources, including the twentieth-century European avant-garde, American primitive guitar, electronic sound art, and West Coast minimalism. A songwriter at heart, Douthitt’s work often combines poetic language, non-traditional ensembles, and voice. From 2009-2013 he lived in Austin and Bastrop and fronted the Glyphs, an expeditionary rock band. He is currently pursuing a PhD in Music Composition at Princeton University.