Slumber (2006)

stereo and 5.1 mixes

Commissioned by the Third Practice Festival at the University of Richmond, Virginia

Stereo mix available on John Gibson: Traces (innova 896)


and on Music from SEAMUS, volume 18.


Surround sound version available on [re], a DVD-Audio and DVD-Video release on Everglade Records (EVG06-01).


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Slumber was commissioned by the Third Practice Festival for a DVD of multichannel pieces that engage the music of the past in some way. In Slumber, I looked to music from Schumann’s Kinderszenen, “Kind in Einschlummern.” I asked pianist Mary Rose Jordan to record this piece. Then I subjected parts of the recording to the whims of my own software, which stratifies the spectrum of a brief sound and creates many shimmering, out-of-sync repetitive patterns. Slumber begins noisily but eventually settles into a quotation from the end of the Schumann. The listener slowly senses the presence of the piano — first only as a subtle timbral reference, then as explicit piano notes reconstructed from the recording, and finally as the unprocessed Schumann phrase.

Almost all of the sounds in the piece come from the piano recording. The synthesizer solo in the middle section was performed by me, using a glove controller. Thanks to Mary Rose Jordan for playing the piano, and to Neil Cain for engineering the piano recording.


  • Sweet Thunder Listening Room Concert, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco, California, 4/24/2014
  • Experimental Theater at Conrad Prebys Music Center, UC San Diego, 2/28/2014
  • Boston New Music Initiative, The Lily Pad, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 12/11/2010
  • Australasian Computer Music Conference, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia, 6/25/2010
  • Sonic Voyages, University of Bristol, England, 4/21/2010
  • University of Nebraska at Omaha, 11/21/2009
  • New Music Festival, Bowling Green State University, Ohio, 10/23/2009
  • Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium, Toronto, Canada, 8/8/2009
  • American Composers Alliance Summer Music Festival, Symphony Space, New York, 6/20/2009
  • Wired for Sound Festival, Longy School of Music, Boston, 4/26/2009
  • Spark Festival, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, 2/19/2009
  • Harvest Moon Festival, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, 10/2/2008
  • International Computer Music Conference (ICMC), Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen's University, Belfast, 8/26/2008
  • SEAMUS National Conference, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, 4/5/2008
  • Sonic Explorations, University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music, 2/1/2008
  • CECM Concert, Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, 1/27/2007
  • Third Practice Festival, University of Richmond, 11/4/2006
  • Faculty Gala Concert, University of Louisville School of Music, 9/8/2006