Snakebyte for Electronic Wind Instrument (1994)

by Bruce Christian Bennett

Hear Snakebyte snakbyte.mp3 (MP3)

Electronic Wind Instrument: Yamaha WX7 (or a similar controller) and a MacIntosh Computer running MAX/MSP software or a MacIntosh Computer running MAX/MSP software and a Yamaha SY77 (or TG77) with foot pedal and foot controller

In composing Snakebyte I was interested in exploring one possibility of timbre as a structural element. The piece begins with a harmonic timbre (associated with fast, quiet music of a limited intervalic scope) and ends with an inharmonic timbre (associated with slow, loud music with a seven octave tessitura). The gradual transformation from one timbre to the other is effected by continuous, real-time control of an equal power cross-fade between the amplitudes of the modulators in an FM algorithm based on a single carrier model: one group of modulators with whole number frequency ratios to the carrier, and the other group of modulators in a 1.41:1 ratio to the carrier. Thus a gradual tranformation from one spectrum to the other is effected with the possibility of continuous, nuanced, real-time control. Some very interesting timbral variation occur in various interpolations between these two extreme states.

Performance History