Larry Kucharz

Unit 23: Computer Music

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This collection of computer music by Larry Kucharz offers examples of works composed between 1975 and 1990. The earlier works, "1976 No. 3A" and "1975 No. 5A," offer broad plains of extended tones framed by lengthy silences. Overall, these have a relaxing effect, but with an edge, as you cannot predict the direction of the next note. Kucharz's later works use a sparse palette of tones, most similar to an organ, and few notes. Typical of the compositions: a steady tone will set the beat, then a plateau of a higher note will beat at twice the speed, then another layer at twice that. The plateaus enter and exit, with occasional shifts to new textures or notes. Overall, the album is not that discordant (a real possibility with the unlimited palette of the computer) and has a hypnotic appeal that verged on entraining the heartbeat. The fanfare notes also elevate the experience and give it some vision. These pieces were realized on the Fairlight 2, Fairlight 3, and the Acxel. (An unfortunate twist of fate is that the rapid fire rhythms often sound like a CD player that gets stuck on a note.)

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