Scot Gresham-Lancaster

Whackers (1988)

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Included in the collection The Hub, this delightful computer-driven sound installation piece uses various solenoid devices (whackers) that strike objects in their vicinity -- like large suspended sheets of steel with brass rods welded to them, a piano harp, a suspended automobile fuel tank, and a circular sheet of steel suspended on balloons -- when the computer signals them to do so. The composer got the idea to create this work because "some visceral aspect of the act of making and listening to music is inherently missing when the loudspeaker is used exclusively." The result is a highly rhythmic, even toe-tapping, percussive ensemble with thrilling tempo variations in the recorded version.