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THE WORLD IN PIECES: AARON EINBOND

  • Tim Rutherford-Johnson

Abstract

Aaron Einbond was born in New York in 1978. He received his compositional education in the US (Harvard, University of California, Berkeley), the UK (Cambridge, Royal College of Music) and France (IRCAM), and his teachers have included Mario Davidovsky, Julian Anderson, Edmund Campion and Philippe Leroux. He currently teaches music composition, sound and technology at City University, London. He is interested in applications of technology within instrumental music, and almost all of his works combine electronics and acoustic instruments. Since 2007 – beginning with his piece Beside Oneself for viola and electronics (first performed by Ellen Ruth Rose), composed while studying at the University of California, Berkeley – he has also used audio analysis and retrieval software to transcribe recorded sounds into instrumental notation.

Einbond's interest in phonographic transcription connects his work to that of other composers of his generation, including Patricia Alessandrini, Joanna Bailie, Richard Beaudoin and Cassandra Miller. (It also finds precedents in a wider musical interest in forms of transcription that one can find in the music of composers as diverse as Peter Ablinger, Luciano Berio and Michael Finnissy.) What makes Einbond's work distinctive is his focus on timbre as a musical parameter, rather than more abstract or easily quantifiable values such as pitch.

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This article was first published in German in Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and is reprinted here with permission.

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1 See, for example, Einbond, Aaron, ‘Subtractive Synthesis: Noise and Digital (Un)Creativity’, in Noise in and as Music, ed. Cassidy, A. and Einbond, A. (Huddersfield: Huddersfield University Press, 2013), pp. 5775.

2 Einbond, ‘Subtractive Synthesis’. See also Einbond, Aaron, ‘Musique instrumentale concrète: Timbral Transcription in What the Blind See and Without Words’, in The OM Composer's Book, ed. Bresson, J., Agon, C. and Assayag, G. (Paris: Editions Delatour, 2016), pp. 155171.

3 Conversation with the composer, 21 March 2019.

4 See, e.g., Barrett, Richard, ‘Standpoint and Sightlines (provisional) 1995’, in Diskurse zur gegenwärtigen Musikkultur, ed. Polaschegg, Nina, Hager, Uwe and Richsteig, Tobias (Regensburg: ConBrio Verlagsgesellschaft, 1996), p. 26.

5 Einbond, ‘Subtractive Synthesis’, p. 68.

This article was first published in German in Neue Zeitschrift für Musik and is reprinted here with permission.

THE WORLD IN PIECES: AARON EINBOND

  • Tim Rutherford-Johnson

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