Photos & Videos

Photos

Elizabeth also regularly posts photos to her Instagram page; to follow the life of a young composer and pianist in pictures visit http://instagram.com/ebakermusic. Happy Instagramming!

Video

Command Voices (2017) 

In piano, a vibrator really excites secondary harmonics; which, if you have the dampers up, amplifies sympathetic resonance from other strings that represent the partials of the primary fundamental tone and “secondary fundamental.” (Secondary fundamental because the secondary harmonic is loud enough to excite the partials that exist when it is the fundamental tone.) Apart from the fact that this sympathetic response sounds wonderfully fulfilling, of particular interest to me is how it conceptually plays with the idea of command voices.

In patients with psychosis, command voices are the ones that instruct them to do destructive things or behave in a certain manner. I am intensely fascinated with the relationship between a musician and their instrument as a secondary self, and the implied consciousness of an inanimate object. In many ways, musicians are command voices for instruments, composers are command voices for musicians, fundamental tones are command voices for the partials that make up the pitches that we know; but all of these instances are largely predictable and controlled.

Vibrating objects present a more accurate depiction of a command voice in a psychotic patient, while I may be able to control one or two of them in manipulating the sound of the piano, as I add more of them, I lose control… specific pitches and the resulting resonant tones are left to chance. In this way, the instrument is coming alive in a manner that removes my authoritative energy, and my conversation with the instrument inevitably must fundamentally change. Furthermore, vibrators in piano create a certain underlying chaos; as I begin to interact with the instrument in a traditional manner (playing the keys) I am acting as a dominant command voice, but on a deeper level because of the subtlety of the resonant voices underneath, I am also, presenting the public face of my instrument. We all have noise in our heads, it may manifest as non-command voices, but an inner dialogue is always present; however, we don’t go around sharing our inner thoughts all the time, we have a mask… in this relationship, I am the piano’s mask, which conceptually obliterates the conventional relationship between musician and instrument.

meditation for water, wind, and metal (2015) is a contemplative structured improvisation for one performer with live electronics. The piece is inspired by the search to find harmony and center while on the road away from a loved one who is a percussionist, as well as the water and sea breeze of the composer’s hometown.

Memory quilts are made by collecting meaningful pieces of fabric from one or more individuals, cutting the fabric to conform to a specific pattern, and finally, binding them together with thread to create a cozy blanket. A sonic memory quilt is created by collecting stories from many individuals and fastens them together through music or other sound creation devices.

Grievances uses Source Audio Hot Hands to create music through movement.

Thomas Milovac (upright bass)
Elizabeth A. Baker (dance, interactive electronics, fixed media, text)
Maureen McDole (text, poetry)
Erica Sutherlin & Latoya McCormick (recorded vocals)
ICD-10CM R55 for solo saxophone and electronics explores a vasovagal incident and subsequent collapse from the perspective of a patient. The blood pressure drops so severely, that one starts to loose grip of all of their senses and ultimately seizes and codes. Of primary exploration in this work is warping of perception and time through electronic manipulation and movement that breaks societal and logical expectations. The title is taken from the standardised billing code for a general vasovagal syncope with collapse.

Music by: Elizabeth A. Baker

Performer: Robert Hess

World premiere at NASA 2019 Region 10 Conference in London, Ontario.
Quantum physics has revealed numerous truths to the world, but there is a captivating parallel between the study of particle physics and the metaphysical world. @quantumloop_#LOVE explores concepts of vibrational energy on both a deeply personal level and from a communal experiential viewpoint. The work unfolds as something beyond a concert work as more of a shared sonic ritual, that activates the chakras (metaphysical energy) while the sentient mind observes from the microscopic momentary vantage point.

Of particular scientific interest to the composer in this work are the tenants that everything is made up of vibrating atoms, and electrons both exist and cease to exist within the electron cloud, rather than traveling on fixed orbits their movement is aleatoric within the confines of a predetermined space. On the flip side of all of this, we are constantly in a state of questioning when it comes to defining and quantifying quantum gravity. There are many theories about quantum gravity, the prevailing divide at the writing of this work between string theory and loop theory… similarly, we cannot summarise love, like quantum gravity we know that it exists, but we do not have the tools or nomenclature at the present juncture to define it in concrete terms… All we can do is marvel in the beauty of the architecture of our world and the architecture of our hearts.

Music and text by: Elizabeth A Baker

Performance by: Sotto Voce Vocal Collective

World premiere performance November 2018 in Buffalo, NY.
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