Programme Notes

Michael Oliva - Moss Garden

Michael Oliva (b.1966) Moss Garden (2005)

Moss Garden is an exercise in simplicity, drawing inspiration from the principles of Japanese gardening and Brian Eno’s music of the mid 1980s. It has nothing to do with traditional Japanese music, which I completely fail to understand. Moss Garden was commissioned by rarescale and first performed by Carla Rees in Los Angeles in the summer of 2005.

The piece consists of a bass flute part and an electronic accompaniment. The electronic part is supplied with this score as a download. This should be played through a high quality stereo PA, with speakers positioned behind the player on either side of the stage. Depending on the venue acoustics, subtle use of EQ may be necessary to ensure that the electronic part is reproduced clearly. Care should also be taken to ensure the PA has a good bass response, since the electronics contain some extremely low frequency sounds, which should be reproduced at good volume without distortion.

It is important that the flautist can hear the electronic part clearly, especially for synchronisation, but use of extra monitor speakers should be avoided if possible as they can muddy the stereo image of the sound. It is also advisable to amplify the flute a little and, if possible, apply some reverb to assist with the blending of parts.

The blend between flautist and electronics should be pretty even, with the flute embedded in the electronic texture.

Michael Oliva

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