Scott Miller & Philippe Costaglioli: Shape Shifting

Shape Shifting (2005)
Music by Scott Miller, Poetry by Philippe Costaglioli
Performed by Zeitgeist: Heather Barringer and Patti Cudd, percussion; Anatoly Larkin, piano; Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds, with Philippe Costaglioli, voice, and Scott Miller, real-time electronic processing.

Transformation can be sudden or slow, drastic or subtle, proactive or reactive. In music, the listener is often in the role of voyeur, witness to the transformation of sonic materials defined by the beginning and ending of a performance. We can experience such a transformation over an uninterrupted period of time, like a film that shows a seedling sprout, grow, flower, wither, and die. We witness everything, even our constantly changing environment, in a linear progression through time. But another possibility involves transformation “out of time” or out of the range of the voyeur’s perception. Our experience of the transformation is fragmented, akin to viewing a series of snapshots or film clips of a life from birth to death, perhaps even in a non-linear progression, leaving us to imagine the events in between. In Shape Shifting, Zeitgeist’s individual and collective musical gestures are often subject to transformation, and how they react to changes in the sonic environment often influences the process of transformation itself. One approach to Shape Shifting is as a series of scenes–sped-up, slowed-down, or even stills–that document and provide us with different perspectives on the state of transformation, which we can ultimately only measure at the end of the process itself.

1 Apnée (percussion, bass clarinet, voice, pre-recorded and real-time electronic processing)

Apnée is the experience of being immersed deep underwater without the use of any artificial breathing apparatus, only one’s own controlled breathing.*

2 Mirror Inside (bass clarinet without mouthpiece, pre-recorded and real-time electronic processing)

3 Sainte Victoire (bass clarinet, percussion, piano, voice, pre-recorded and real-time electronic processing)

Sainte Victoire, translated literally as Holy Victory, is a mountain in Provence.  It became for Paul Cézanne a sweet obsession.  Day after day, the painter tried to apprehend the ever-changing rhythms, colors, and lights of that imposing shape. With time, toward the very end of his life, he finally captured the mystery of presence and the essence of the artist’s gaze.  The voice in the poem invites us to enter and explore with the musicians and composer a moving inner landscape.*

4 Self Portrait (voice)

For me, the poem is by essence a non-narrative adventure: a playful kaleidoscope of filtered images, sounds, rhythms and colors; a lucid desire to unify the apparent opposite forces of life in a vibrant dance of languages. Life and death, light and darkness, spirituality and sensuality, music and silence yearn to be woven together. The poem might be their fabric.*

5 Desire Also Has Its Own Geography (percussion, real-time electronic processing)

6 Dressing Up (alto sax, percussion, piano, voice)

7 Jardins Mécaniques (bass clarinet, percussion, piano, pre-recorded and real-time electronic processing)

8 Digging Space (pre-recorded electronic processing)

9 Les Cançóns de la Sang (bass clarinet, piano, voice, real-time electronic processing)

10 New Snow (percussion, piano, voice)

*Notes by Philippe Costaglioli

Dedicated to contemporary music, in particular the music of the last twenty years, Zeitgeist has commissioned and performed music by both emerging composers and some of the finest established composers of our time.  Zeitgeist has released five other compact discs, including She’s a Phantom, music of Harold Budd; Intuitive Leaps, music of Terry Riley; A Decade, music of Frederic Rzewski; Eric Stokes; and If Tigers Were Clouds.  Zeitgeist is Heather Barringer and Patti Cudd, percussion; Anatoly Larkin, piano; and Pat O’Keefe, woodwinds.

Philippe Costaglioli, a native of Catalonia and Southern France, has spent the past few years creating multimedia performance pieces with composer Scott Miller and video artist Ron Gregg. He also pursues his own creative work in three languages as an author of poetry, short stories, and children’s books, and is a Professor of Film Studies at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota. His poetry is published in France by Les Èditions de L’ArriÈre-Pays and in Barcelona by Jardins de Sarmacanda.  

Scott Miller is a composer of orchestral, chamber, choral, electroacoustic music and collaborative multimedia works.  He is an Associate Professor at St. Cloud State University, Minnesota, where he teaches composition, electroacoustic music, and music theory. 

Recorded at Furseal Studio
Mixing and Post-Production at Waterbury Music
Recording and Post-Production by Reid Kruger
Produced by Scott Miller & Pat O’Keefe
Executive Producer: Heather Barringer
Booklet and CD design by Chad Nestor
innova recordings © p 2005

Buy the album:
Innova Recordings
and at Studio Z