The Unorthodox Guitar: A Guide to Alternative Performance Practice is a comprehensive resource for experimentally minded guitarists and composers wishing to write for or perform on the instrument in new ways. The book focuses primarily on unconventional approaches to guitar performance, which include alternative tunings, extended techniques, instrumental preparations, electronic augmentations, and issues related to performing and recording with a computer. Embracing all guitar types—nylon, steel-string acoustic, and electric—techniques and examples are culled from a broad range of musical genres, including blues, contemporary classical, country, folk, jazz, rock, and non-Western idioms. While the writing offers a treasure trove of possibilities for experimental improvisation, it is oriented towards formal composition, and to that end details the controllable dimensions of the techniques and preparations at hand, along with strategies that might be adopted to notate them. Conventional guitar amplifiers, effect pedals, and pedalboards are examined, along with a discussion of analog signal chains, rig design, and best practices for the preservation of tone. In addition, possibilities afforded by the addition of a computer to the guitar rig are explored, including signal processing, sensor augmentation, and score following. The writing is paired with a companion website that contains an abundance of audio, video, and software materials to supplement the ideas presented. This information is intended to serve as a guide, reference, and source of inspiration for those wishing to compose and/or perform on the instrument in innovative ways.
Frengel. M. (2015). Sound in Space: Sound Horizons Concert Review. SEAMUS Journal. (In Print).
This chapter explores the role of interactivity in electroacoustic concert music, defined as a subsection of contemporary classical music that embraces technology while retaining some element of live performance. It examines values traditionally associated with live performance, which provide a context for assessing the influence that interactivity has on liveness in concert settings. Four common models of interactivity are identified: the instrumental model, conductor model, reflexive model, and virtual-musician model. In addition, issues relating to alternative controllers, new instrumental interfaces, real-time processing, sound-file triggering, score following, and artificial intelligence systems are examined. The discussion is primarily concerned with the concertgoer’s perspective and the role that interactivity plays in that experience.
Frengel, M. (2012). Technology and Music. In Encyclopedia of American Music and
Culture. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO.
Mixed works combining live performance with non-live sound sources projected over loudspeakers are commonplace in the field of electroacoustic music. A peculiarity of the mixed-work experience is that only some of the sound sources are seen, while many others may be heard. Consequently, a perceptual dissonance often arises between visual and aural stimuli, drawing particular attention to the relationship between the live and non-live components. Such a heightened perceptual focus on relations suggests the need for an analytical framework and terminology. This paper proposes a multidimensional framework of relations between live and non-live component pairs in mixed works, which can both serve as a model and foundation for analysis as well as provide composers with pathways of relations available under certain conditions.
Frengel, M. (2009). Reconciling musical language in mixed works: a case study. ACM SIGGRAPH ’09: Music & Audio Conference Proceedings. New York: ACM.
Frengel, M. (1999). Nick Didkovsky. In New Grove Dictionary of American Musicians. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
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Frengel, M. (2004). Slinky. On ICMC 2009 Compact Disc. Montreal: International Computer Music Association. (2009).
Frengel, M. (2000). And Then, Romina…. On XXII Concorso Internazionale Luigi Russolo Di Musica Elettroacustica 2000. Varèse, Italy: Russolo-Pratella Foundation. (2001).
Frengel, M. (1999). Long Slender Heels. On Sonic Circuits VII. St. Paul, MN: Innova Records.
Frengel, M. (1996). Three Short Stories. On CDCM Volume 26. Baton Rouge, LA: Centuar Records. (1998).
Frengel, M. (1996). No Pestering. On ICMC96 “On The Edge”. Hong Kong: October Music.
A Western Front (1998). Millennium (full length album). Los Gatos, CA: Quagmire Records.
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