Portfolio for application to M.A. Media Arts, University of Michigan
Aaron Wolf, UM ID: 05576349
Writings and research:
This major treatise was completed this year (2010). I hope to follow up on the ideas discussed there in future compositions, performance, research, and pedagogical projects. Some applications of these ideas may necessitate further technological developments which may become projects of their own.
My blog is a series of short articles about music theory, teaching, philosophy and related subjects.
Most of the content is written prose, but there are also two original videos featuring improvisations on guitar:
At the top menu, there is also a dedicated page with reviews of resources for students with emphasis on software and other technology.
Compositions and recordings:
mp3 files (direct output from Finale):
Supposition.mp3 (again direct Finale output)
The album has an eclectic mix of music styles. A few selections are in a techno/dance style with repeating yet continually varied beats and quirky manipulated samples (Lam, Sump, and the title track). A few pieces are straightforward MIDI compositions, though they have interesting elements. Peanut Gallery is a piece in 5/4 that can instead be felt at times to be four beats with quintuplet divisions. Sexy Beak is based on an aleatoric recording made by improvised vocals recorded while irregularly pausing and un-pausing the recording; then backward-masking was added; and finally the result was transcribed to create a MIDI composition (with the original audio included at the end of the track). Nervous Class was created entirely by sampling sounds made only with paper, pencil, and pen. In Washing Machine Funk, original sound effects were created. The other tracks mix jazz, blues, rock, and experimental elements in electro-acoustic blends of live instruments and MIDI.
There is a guest trumpeter on two cuts and a guest singer on another. Otherwise, I performed on Chapman Stick, guitars, keyboards, and vocals. Though the drum sounds are sampled, I entered and adjusted every single MIDI event with no pre-existing beats, loops, or other samples, and I did all the editing and mixing. I also created the album artwork, though a friend took the initial photographs.
The tracks and cover art are available here:
Note: That page is part of a retrospective site which I put together largely for my students to learn about my music development. The links on the left side include further biographical information as well as recordings from my earlier all-MIDI albums (which contain a large collection of ideas which I could potentially revisit in future projects, though I have many new ideas as well). The site also includes a few later recordings and some tracks from another album when I was in a dedicated rock band. I've selected Conspiracies & Racketeering as a versatile and representative selection of my original work for the focus of this portfolio.