James Tenney


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Dialogue grew out of programs Tenney wrote for a set of pieces called Five Stochastic Studies, which, along with some studies in timbre, occupied his time at Bell Labs from 1961-63. Dialogue uses stochastic control over timbral, durational and pitch parameters. It was the first piece by Tenney which made use of the computer in determining hierarchical features, and in making stochastic decisions regarding the given statistics of musical parameters for various sections. In other words, the software is responsible for larger-level formal decisions as well as small-level event values, specifying the mean and range of musical parameters over long sections. The piece is a dialogue between noise and tones. By stochastically specifying the statistical trajectories of these two types of sounds, Tenney creates a constant shifting of emphasis between them.

[source: ART 1007]

The version on the CD Selected Works 1961-1969, Artifact Recordings, ART 1007, was digitally remixed and remastered from the original analog tape.