Poll

Who was the greatest Computer Composer?

Babbitt
1 (8.3%)
Hiller
0 (0%)
Xenakis
3 (25%)
Ma-Ha-Bone
0 (0%)
running, the banana... Zipper II
0 (0%)
@X!opp*%F>#?Sh@$&P
4 (33.3%)
Bleep
0 (0%)
Bloop
1 (8.3%)
Casio Nebulae 2701
0 (0%)
You deserve what's coming.
3 (25%)

Total Members Voted: 5

Author Topic: COMPUTER: Lejaren Hiller, Composer  (Read 2225 times)

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snyprrr

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COMPUTER: Lejaren Hiller, Composer
« on: August 16, 2009, 09:41:35 AM »
LEJAREN HILLER (1924-1994):

STOP.

What Feldman was to Cage, Hiller was to Babbitt. Lejaren Hiller, chemist, was the first to allow a computer to compose music, in 1957, when he figured out how to translate symbolic computer language into musical language with the SQ No.4, Illiac Suite. The 1st mvmt sounds like Palestrina, the 2nd, more modern, and then the 3rd, total experimentation, the barnyard.

STOP.

There is a great link on WikiP, detailing the mountain of bad press Hiller got, from all quaters, branding him the scientist who stumbled onto music.

STOP.

I have enjoyed Hiller's SQ No.5 (in quarter-tones; 1962) on the Composer's SQ VoxBox set for quite some time, and when his 1973 SQ No.6 became available on NewWorld, I knew it was going to be the perfect make weight for Babbitt's SQs 3-4 (1970-71).

Hiller's SQ No.6 is really quite the epitome of the experimental. Somewhere between Ives-Xenakis-Zorn, this thing really has everything, including the kitchen sink! There are no vocalizations, or foot taps, but rather Hiller "translates" naturally occuring sounds in everyday life, traffic noise, wafting summer breeze sounds, and drifting, TV-in-the-next-room zaniness in a Xenakis-meets-Zorn approach that is quite over the top! Truly, along with Holliger's 1973 SQ, and early Lachenmann, and Crumb, this Hiller SQ must be ranked right up there as one of the most out there expressions of the experimental, eclectic ideal.

SQ No.5 (1962) is quite different, though it also maintains a very computer based sound. Someone should really record SQs 4-6: that would be quite an imposing set!

The NewWorld disc also contains a Computer Cantata (1962) and A Portfolio for Diverse Instruments and Tape (1974). The former truly has the eyes wide open in that experimental tape, percussion, instruments, and Berberian-like vocals kind of way. The latter truly sounds like an LSD trip, with the Gregg Smith Singers and 8 channels of tape! I just get the feeling that "some guy" would just love this stuff! It's a bit much for me, but it's worth a listen.

Hiller also collaborated with Cage on HRPSCRD?, a super wacky 7 harpsichord plus everything else light and sound "happening"-type work that I believe even has a recording somewhere. The WikiP link has some great info on this piece.

Other than that, there is a guitar quartet on NewWorld, but the Hiller discography is pretty slim; however, the SQ No.6 is an unqualified masterpiece in my book (reminding me just a bit of Mossolov's crazy 1927 SQ). For those who truly want to hear another side of Xenakis, this piece of music is IT! (The WikiP link also has a letter from Xenakis to Hiller! it's amazing how Hiller's SQ has so much of the Greek's sound, though with a completely different temperment, of course)

I can't possibly predict what kind of response we'll get here, but I hope that it's "groovy"! ;D
« Last Edit: August 03, 2017, 07:57:09 PM by snyprrr »

Online some guy

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Re: Babbitt VS Hiller DEATH MATCH!!!
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2009, 10:21:28 AM »
Haha, you're right, I do love this stuff.

Don't think I've ever heard that string quartet #6, though. Sounds delightful.

(I voted for @X!opp*%F>#?Sh@$&P, by the way, though Bleep is also very important, especially in regards to the algorithmic polyvalence of his something something, 1959.)

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Babbitt VS Hiller DEATH MATCH!!!
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2009, 12:42:16 PM »
You most certainly deserve what's coming.  $:)

Offline Air

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Re: Babbitt VS Hiller DEATH MATCH!!!
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2009, 12:44:30 PM »
I feel so ignorant.  :-\
"Summit or death, either way, I win." ~ Robert Schumann

snyprrr

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Re: Babbitt VS Hiller DEATH MATCH!!!
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2017, 08:03:51 PM »
You most certainly deserve what's coming.  $:)

AlienNeil,... you see, above? Yes, I've had... moments.

Hiller is Great, but a lot of his stuff is too experimental for me to... "enjoy". But the music for instruments seems all Great, and I do like the Folio thing on the NewWorld disc. The WERGO disc, with the "computer string quartet", I found a bit more... challenging, for my tastes at least. The 4guitar piece is still coool

Offline Scion7

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Re: COMPUTER: Lejaren Hiller, Composer
« Reply #5 on: August 04, 2017, 01:08:55 AM »
• Steve Jobs
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Crudblud

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Re: COMPUTER: Lejaren Hiller, Composer
« Reply #6 on: August 04, 2017, 01:25:13 AM »
No respect. No respect at all.