-BP & KH
Ted Moore: I am writing a piece for a dance performance that is going to happen at Luther in May. I'm collaborating with a choreographer that teaches at Luther. I am writing a piece for Sarah Porwoll-Lee, a bass clarinetist. That piece is being premiered in June. I am writing a piece for the Spektral Quartet and Tim Monroe, the flutist of Eighth Blackbird. I'm also working on a project that is going to be in the Northern Spark Festival, a Twin Cities Arts Festival that happens every summer from dusk until dawn. And my style- I often describe my stuff as electro-acoustic because it uses electronics and acoustic instruments. I really like trying to find new sounds and techniques and things to use in my pieces, which is why electronic music is appealing because it lets me do that.
AD: You often collaborate with theater groups and dramatic productions; when did you start these partnerships and what are they?
TM: I started in the fall of 2011, when I moved to the cities. The group is called Sound Design, so it's creating any and all of the sounds that happen on stage. So, if there's a telephone call on stage, I have to get the speaker placed and make that sound happen. That's part of it. The other part of it, the more creative part, is composing music to support the story, underscore certain scenes, help with transitions, create sound cues that create and release tension, build suspense, create emotions, or set the scenes. For example, a scene in a TV studio- what does that sound like? So, I like it because it's thinking about making art, but perhaps with more plot and more character driven art making and I think that thinking about it in that way helps me with my music, as well. And collaborating is something that helps me think about my stuff and other peoples work in a different way and makes me a better artist.
AD: You began your musical career by playing trumpet. When did you start composing?
TM: I started writing songs and sort of playing guitar and creating on the guitar in high school. It was just for fun and I didn't write it down, but it was the spirit of starting. And then in college, in Theory II, one of our assignments was to write a piece. We were given some text and told to write a piece. I really liked it and then Spring of my sophomore year I started taking comp lessons and the rest was history.
AD: AVIDduo won a sizable grant to, among other things, commission you to write a work for flute and saxophone. Tell us about your piece and the inspiration for this work, which is now on our debut album Interactions.
TM: The piece is called deepities. The inspiration started from the face that the two instruments are pretty similar in range, and by comparison of most instruments, they are pretty similar in timbre, too. So I was thinking a lot about how to use that or emphasize those similarities and de-emphasize those similarities. The piece became about playing in unison and what that sounds like and changing the timbre and how that timbre changes. The piece starts on a unison pitch and then diverges from the unison and there is a big shout section in unison. And at the end of the piece, extended techniques take the two instruments and separate them even more by using unique timbres that are unique to each instrument. The form of the piece is- I think as many juxtapositions of pretty contrasting material, so by analysis, by some sort of traditional analysis, one might find it to be disjointed. But I think it works. A deepity is something that on the surface appears to be true, but isn't. That is where the title came from.
AD: How was it working with AVIDduo? What did you think of the instrumentation?
TM: Working with AVIDduo was great because they were really receptive to working through the piece and taking feedback and working on it together in rehearsal. I really feel like this piece in particular benefitted from getting to work with the performers that way. The piece turned out the way I wanted it to because of that reason especially. It's about exploring what you have with the instrumentation and being about to create something out of that.
AD: Where can musicians go to hear your work, obtain your scores, or commission you?
TM: They can visit
AD: Do you have any advice for young composers?
TM: One of the mantras I use, which comes from a friend of mine, is "Keep the notes that sound good and get rid of the notes that don't"
Ted Moore is a composer, sound designer, and music educator living in Minneapolis. His work focuses on live electronic processing with live performers using the digital signal processing programming language SuperCollider. His music has been premiered by the Firebird Ensemble (Boston), Yarn/Wire (NYC), RenegadeEnsemble (MSP), AVIDduo (Dallas), and the Enkidu Quartet (MSP), and has been performed across the country including Decorah, IA (Luther College); Richmond, KY (Eastern Kentucky University); Berkeley, CA (Festival of Contemporary Music); Dublin, NH (The Walden School); Chicago, IL (Access Contemporary Music); Campaign-Urbana, IL (NASA); Kirksville, MO (Truman State University); Denton, TX (Denton Women’s Club); and Minneapolis, MN (Cedar Cultural Center). Up next is a premiere for string quartet and bass flute performed by the Spektral Quartet (Chicago) and Tim Munro of Eighth Blackbird. As a sound designer, Ted has worked with many independent companies, notably on Savage Umbrella’s original productions, Care Enough, Emma Woodhouse is Not a Bitch, Rain Follows the Plow, Leaves, and Rapture. Ted has taught music in a variety of capacities, including at The Walden School’s Young Musicians Program (Dublin, NH), Dorian Summer Music Camps (Decorah, IA), and Art Institutes International in downtown Minneapolis. Ted is the Artistic Co-Director of Spitting Image Collective, a composer collective that enriches the contemporary music community of Minneapolis-St. Paul. Contact him at www.tedmooremusic.com.