Nathan Corder: Portfolio (scroll)

a figure traced in the dark (2016), for snare drum, glockenspiel, voice, and glass
A recent point of interest for me as a composer has been the desire to create a music that focuses on the becoming of sound, and the impression of form. This is to say that I am interested in focusing on the instability of a pitch being formed, the suggestion of a pulse or regularities, and the skeletal semblance of a discrete structure. Rather than explicitly showing a logical process, or coalescing a form with swarms of information, I wanted to present as little as I could, but suggest that what one encounters in this piece, is merely the surface of something immense, and perhaps volatile.

*composed for Fabio Oliveira and premiered September 14, 2016 at the Simpósio Internacional de Música Nova 2016 in Curitiba, Brazil

a figure relief in dust (2017), for two pianos and two percussionists Continuing ideas from a figure traced in the dark, this work explores forms that exist in a kind of haze, shrouded in ambiguity. There is an emphasis on notions of foreground vs. background, and the strangeness of how past events’ meaning are contigent upon present and future states. By composing how the “dust” falls upon the piece, it’s image is altered. 

*composed for and premiered at the Yarn/Wire Institute at Stony Brook University, June 28, 2017

of sorts (2016), for alto saxophone, cb.clarinet, drum set, and electronics
of sorts focuses upon the establishment and disruption of systems, varying degrees of compositional control, and interpersonal dynamics. In this piece I wanted to explore the liminal stage of simplicity becoming complex. Though what categorizes a sonic event as simple or complex is inherently relational, and contextual. This piece is dedicated to John McCowen, Tom Weeks, and Scott Siler.

clima, slice, clima (2017), fixed media clima, slice, clima is comprised of sonic events generated by systems of varying degrees of compositional control. Intuitive processes are placed alongside, disrupted by, and are subsumed within stochastically formed masses of sound. The behaviors of the intuitive mind, and the processes that extend beyond it, may often be indistinguishable (in any meaningful sense). 

strata (2017), for sine waves, square waves, and filtered noise
Strata is a meditation on a simple harmonic gesture, a I-V-I modulation, using justly tuned intervals and pure sine waves. A justly tuned A-major, C-sharp Major, and E Major provide the initial pitch content. These pitches swirl against one another and are then slowly concatenated and replaced by pitch sets from major chords a perfect fifth away (3/2). Though the pitch sets from each chord are presented from various bands of their respective harmonic series. As the modulation progresses, the tones are derived from “higher up” within their harmonic series. The initial major chords are then presented from two other perspectives: tuned filters on noise and their rhythmic equivalents (sub audio frequencies).

spring mix (2017), for sine waves, square waves, filtered noise, and bitshifting algorithm a stochastic process in which justly tuned oscillators are initiated and subjected to a bitshifitng process, altering the oscillators wave shapes. Another layer of complexity is added by the addition of a sampling process applied to the oscillators signal. The sampled oscillators are then played at variable sample rates and speeds based upon the frequency content of the swarm of bitshifted waveforms, creating a dense causal web and sonic field.

Static Tracks for Haco (2017), electromagnetic audificationAll sounds recorded with an inductive pickup, presenting an audification of electromagnetic fields present aboard two Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) trains. This recording details an afternoon trip on 6/16/2017 from Oakland to San Francisco, and the evening return home, presented as a singular event.

Channel one (left): Leaving from Oakland to San Francisco
Channel two (right): Returning from San Francisco to Oakland