Using the sounds of handmade paper, electronics, and surf guitar among others, Ted Coffey composes a sometimes fragile, sometimes brutal order that swings from texturalism to song. Written for dance, both fixed media and live computer-mediated performance, Coffey’s music feels spontaneous without sacrificing finely calculated craft.
Petals 8 starts off the album. The composition draws inspiration from gagaku, the ‘elegant music’ of Japanese medieval courts. Featuring, as Coffey described, a “funky-slash-improbable-yet-maybe-inevitable instrumental assemblage,” Petals 8 moves with quiet commitment through cycles of suspended moments — and close vocoded vocal harmonies, too. It is followed by Petals 1, 2 & 3, three attacca movements of electronic music for dance, composed in response to different compositional problems that both music and dance work through.
One Note Solo, which can be experienced here with its original video by Aaron Henderson, demonstrates how a single note can be squeezed and stretched into a composition of spellbinding presence. The final track on the album, Sonatina, is a concluding statement that accumulates eight years of sonic experimentation, from viola da gamba hooks to microphone feedback, demonstrating how computer music transcends time and space.
WORKS FOR DANCE connects visuals and sounds through the computer-mediated experience. Coffey’s latest work with Ravello Records demonstrates how organic movement and electronic voice can come together in one compelling dance.