By: Montse Andreu

One would think that the so long fought for equality of the sexes should have reached the adequate levels with respect to the chances that women have to succeed in the field of alternative musics. This is not so. And nevertheless, there are women who have devoted part (or all) of their careers to electronic, experimental composition, who have a great deal of talent. The objective of this series is to make some of these names known to the interested readers.

Malaysian composer Minni Ang Kim Huai Tee completes her basic musical studies at the Birmingham Conservatoire, specializing in performance. She continues her studies in London, where she learns Percussion Teaching, and to Kuala Lumpur, to study piano, besides having a career in Physics at the Universiti Malaya. Minni Ang gets interested in the use of computers in music, an interest best honed in her research work in this field, as she develops an interactive course in the WWW about the appreciation of the music in her country. She has published several works on music and the multimedia art in internet, among which mention must be made of the following: "An Interactive Multimedia Music Repository over the Internet", "World Wide Web Audio: Ensuring Adequate Hardware And Software Configurations", "A Handbook of Basic Rock Rhythms for Drum Set", "Pendidikan Muzik dan Zaman Komputer (Music Education and the Computer Age)", "Peranan Muzik dalam Membina Bangsa Malaysia (The Role of Music in Building a Malaysian Race)", "Percussion Instruments (and how to write for them)", etc. Amongst her compositions these are quite remarkable indeed: "War to End all Wars Overture", "Let There Be Light", "Opus What? An Atonal Adventure", "The Chapman Suite", "Irama Gamelan Kyai Pranaja", "Springs of Joy", "The Evening Sacrifice", etc. Some of her works have been released in audio cassette, among them: "Lagu Rohani Kanak-Kanak. (Spiritual Songs for Children)", "Musical Pieces by Minni Ang", "The Chapman Suite", "The Chapman's Dance", "Rachel's Song", "A Melody for Mary", "Springs of Joy", "Shine Bright", "Resting Place", etc. Ms. Ang holds a post at the Department of Music of the Faculty of Human Ecology at the University Putra Malaysia.

A member of the New York Women Composers Association, an association aimed at women composers specialized in Electronic and Computer Music, Dorothea Austin has proved her proficiency in the field of the New Musics with her composition "Transformation for Viola, Piano & Tape", (1973), among other works.

Composer Lydia Ayers is a member of the New York Women Composers in the Electronic and Computer Music Association who has experimented within the field of the New Music, while exploring all the possibilities that electronics, computers, traditional acoustic instruments like the gamelan, the human voice and in a word, anything capable of producing music has to offer to the creative artist. Among her works mention must be made of the following: "Merapi" (1995), composed for gamelan and computer, using microtonal techniques algorithmically generated. In this work, the computer uses the tuning of the live gamelan. "Nineteen", (1994), for computer, also algorithmically generated, using a nineteen-tone utonality microtonal scale; "The Sand Child", (1993), an opera for a solo mezzo soprano, premiered by Isabel Ganz, who commissioned it, in which the composer also utilizes computer-generated tape. This work is in actual fact an adaptation of the novel "The Sand Child" by Tahar ben Jelloun. Here the composer uses once again microtonality, based on Arabic tuning. "Dreams from the Shadow Lands", (1994), a work in which the artist experiments with the voice of two sopranos, two altos, two tenors, and two bass, intertwined with computer generated tape, based on an environmental text with extended vocal techniques using processed environmental sounds and algorithmically generated synthesized sounds; Also, the tuning systems include a 13-tone equal temperment and just tunings of a 13-utonally and 12-otonality. This work was performed by the Contemporary Chamber Singers in Urbana, IL, in 1994. "Ah" (1993), composed for algorithmically generated tape, with Andrew Horner's voice, processed using adsyn linear predictive coding, comb filters, and some synthesized sounds."Balinese" (1993), with computer generated tape and microtonality, a piece that uses a variety of Balinese tunings generated with an algorithm in a quasi-Balinese style. "Electronic, Humorous, Tense and Suite" (1993), for computer generated tape, this is a suite of "Companion of Strange Intimacies," "Glassminute", "Prime", "Balinese" and "Bioluminescence". "Glass chi", (1993) for computer generated tape, this is a work that uses the computer processing of a rubbed crystal glass sound together with synthesized glass and voice sounds. The title, "glass-chi", refers to glass energy. This work was performed in Bloomington, IN and Urbana, IL in 1993. "Kaleidoscope" (1993) is another computer work with a microtonal technique, whose pitch and timbre were algorithmically generated. "Glassminute" (1992), for computer generated tape, utilizing linear predictive coding analysis of rubbed crystal glass sounds; In this composition the artist gets transformations of the timbre into a male vocal sound by transposition into a very low register. "Prime" (1992), for computer generated tape, a piece in which the composer uses prime number ratios in pluck and glide instruments so as to get some interesting transformations of the timbre from inharmonic relationships and registral change. "Bioluminiscence" (1990), for computer generated tape, in which most noteworthy is her use of Indian tunings and just tunings up to the 23-limit. "Companion of Strange Intimacies" (1990), for computer generated tape, a microtonal piece. "Faraway Voices: Two Electronic Studies" (1984), in which by means of a Buchla analog system the composer creates two voice-like studies at the California Institute of the Arts.



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