Verdacht is a twelve-minute piece for viola, electronics, and the bespoke “alto.glove” controller, designed and built by Seth Thorn, who also composed the piece and performs it. A custom foot controller (“alto.pedal”) allows the performer to step through the various sections of signal processing and to advance the piece.
Learn more about the glove here: seththorn.net/projects/glove.html
The piece situates the viola in a “suspicious" context, bookended by a chaotic punk-aesthetic, extended with a glove made specifically for it, also acting as an autonomous controller here. Fully notated, with space for rhythmic and melodic improvisation in a fixed order of scenes. Contextual sounds are produced on the fly from live samples looped or frozen with extreme panning - again, a suspicious context for the instrument, stylistically approached in this piece maniacally but traditionally.
Verdacht was premiered on the iStage at Arizona State University on 12/13/16, and was played alongside mesmerizing pieces by Freida Abtan, Lauren Hayes, and others. Much gratitude to Lauren for organizing the event.
Bio: Seth is a composer, performer, and scholar. He has studied viola with leading teachers, including the late William Magers and Roland Vamos. In addition to his expertise in electronics and audio technologies, Seth holds advanced degrees in political theory, German, and music, and was a Fulbright scholar in the philosophy department of the Goethe-University in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. At present he is a Ph.D. candidate in Computer Music and Multimedia at Brown University, specializing in interactive systems, digital signal processing, circuit building and bending, sound design, and electroacoustic composition. His musical works have been accepted at major international conferences, including NIME and ICMC. Seth also has expertise in the tradition of German aesthetics, in particular Kant, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Adorno. He has translated texts of contemporary German philosophers, most recently being published in Berkeley’s prestigious critical humanities journal, 'Qui Parle’.