by Dan Trueman
Instrumentation: string quartet + electric violin (or violin/viola)/laptop
I don’t usually get technical in program notes, but here goes… Traps is a delicate exploration of a simple process I call “traps.” A trap is a way of forcing whatever note I play to be transposed to a single pitch (or set of pitches); while I play, the computer remembers that last couple seconds of what I have played and then, depending on the note that I play, transposes it’s memory to the “trap” pitch. So, for instance, when the trap is a high F, if I play an A below that, the “trap” will, some short time later, transpose my remembered A up a minor-sixth, so it sounds a high-F. The only “problem” is that sometimes the trap’s memory might be long enough to remember other pitches I had played prior to the A, say, a low open D-string, so that D will also get transposed up a minor-sixth, to B-flat, yielding a not-quite-simultaneous sonority D–B-flat–A–F. This is precisely how Traps begins, and it continues slowly through a series of ascending traps, some of which are single notes, others two-note traps.