• nb1

//INTRO.//

I perform, compose, improvise, engineer, and record music with a special focus on the nuances and inner details of sound and its expression in a physically immersive listening space.

When one listens attentively to details, it becomes readily apparent that most complex vibrating bodies — be they gongs, strings, etc. — do not produce a "note," but rather dozens or hundreds of perceivable events that unfold over time before the complex vibrating body comes to rest. In my music's sounds — both those produced acoustically and electronically — the complex nuances are used as critical artistic components. In my computer-integrated work, the computer is often used to emphasize the constituent parts within a single acoustically produced sound, as well as how the parts evolve, and mold them into new, compelling sound objects. ...

Our ability to localize sound (determine its spatial position and environment) is a powerful sensory function full of possibilities for artistic exploitation. Our auditory systems enable us to grasp the entire three-dimensional soundscape in which we are immersed at any point in time. This ability to listen simultaneously to sounds in all directions and distances contrasts greatly with our ocular system, which gives us only partial views of our surroundings. Not only can sound exist in space, but spaces themselves can provide us with sonic environments (for example, hear in your mind the vastly different behavior of sound inside of a cathedral versus a carpeted hallway). In my music, I take great care to craft not only kinetic audio spatial-forms, but also the acoustic environments in which they sound.

My main creative avenue is my music for marimba plus three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound. I designed my electronics system — controllers, software, etc. — as an extension of my aesthetic sensibilities, and it thus allows for an intensely personal approach to my works. Indeed, my works for this setup are intended for my performance alone, as soloist or ensemble member. In the multiple paths they can take, my pieces more closely resemble computer programs than through-composed compositions. My music for marimba plus computer constantly evolves as I create new musical material and new computer processes. I act as creator and live arbiter of the music in performance, navigating through flexible compositional frameworks which utilize a complex system interconnecting score generation and display, instrumental performance, and real-time audio manipulation.

As counterpoint to my proprietary electro-integrated works, my compositions for acoustic instruments have scores available for performance by other musicians. Although the music is produced acoustically, it shares the same aesthetic framework as my electronic music. To clearly and accurately represent my musical ideas in written form, I have devised a special notation system. At first glance, the system is distinguished by its use of multiple colors and an attention to visual detail which reflects the artistic sensibilities of the music.

My work as a marimbist also includes performances of acoustic and electro-integrated compositions written by other composers. This repertoire includes compositions from recent decades, including a growing number of compositions written specifically for me, as well as some centuries-old compositions.

In general, I strive to create musical events, as opposed to "pieces." In live performance, I assemble programs that are without intermission, with either a single, large-scale composition, or a set of works designed to create a unified event. My recordings are structured in the same way, as albums, with either a single, large-scale composition, or a collection of works that together have an artistic impact greater than the sum of the individual components. My music, both live and recorded, is often part of multi-media collaboration projects. Over the past few years, I have worked with dancers, sculptors, and video artists on performance and installation projects.

I perform on a Malletech Imperial Grand five-octave marimba, and use a custom, silent (true 0dB) computer created by endpcnoise.com.

I was born in 1978 in Madison, Wisconsin. In addition to studying privately with marimbist Leigh Howard Stevens, I studied at the Eastman School of Music (Rochester, NY), the Royal Academy of Music (London), and hold a doctoral degree in music composition from the University of Wisconsin–­Madison. From 2011 to 2013 I was a postdoctoral associate at the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery. I currently live with my wife Lisa and son Lev in Placitas, New Mexico.

//DISCOG.//

Every album in my discography was recorded in multi-channel (surround), high-definition (24 bit / 88.2 kHz) audio formats. Every album — available on physical media and download — comes with multiple versions of the musical material in a single package: HD multi-channel, HD stereo, and CD-quality stereo. The streaming audio samples below are a fast way to explore these recordings; however, they do not fully capture the qualities of this music as heard on their formal releases or at my live events.

TIMESPACEPLACE // SOUND-SPACE AUDIO LAB // SSAL-A4 // 2013 // AUDIO CD + DATA DVD

timeSpacePlace Bartlett


a//7:44-13:04 b//14:10-19:09

timeSpacePlace (a-side) and timeSpacePlace (b-side) // for marimba and mallet-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing // composed by Nathaniel Bartlett // marimba, mallet-tracking computer interface, and computer control: Nathaniel Bartlett

(((CLANG))) // SOUND-SPACE AUDIO LAB // SSAL-A1 // 2012 // AUDIO CD + DATA DVD

(((clang))) Bartlett


0:00-5:00 18:47-23:40

(((clang))) // for marimba and metal objects; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing // composed by Nathaniel Bartlett // marimba, metal objects, and computer control: Nathaniel Bartlett

TRICHOTOMIC ECOLOGY // SOUND-SPACE AUDIO LAB // SSAL-A3 // 2011 // AUDIO CD + DATA DVD

trichotomic ecology Bartlett


7:57-12:22 23:28-28:28

trichotomic ecology // for marimba, percussion, and viola; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing // composed by Nathaniel Bartlett // marimba and computer control: Nathaniel Bartlett // percussion: Geoff Brady // viola: Nils Bultmann

FAR REACHES // SOUND-SPACE AUDIO LAB // SSAL-A2 // 2010 // AUDIO CD + DATA DVD

far reaches Bartlett


sb//2:25-7:33 Hp//7:23-12:23

far reaches contains two compositions // star_birth, for solo percussion* // Heap, for solo percussion** and real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound // composed by Nathaniel Bartlett // *percussion: Justin Alexander // **metal percussion and computer control: Nathaniel Bartlett

PRECIPICE // ALBANY RECORDS // TROY855 // 2006 // HYBRID MULTI-CHANNEL SUPER AUDIO CD

Precipice Bartlett


Op//0:00-2:09 Pr//0:00-5:00
In//0:00-2:08 Sl4//0:00-1:10
VC//2:48-5:35

Opening, by Philip Glass // Precipice, for marimba and computer-generated sounds, by Allan Schindler // Interlude, for marimba and computer-generated sounds, by Greg Wilder // Silhouettes (4 mvts.), by Augusta Read Thomas // Vermont Counterpoint, by Steve Reich (mar. version N. Bartlett) // marimba: Nathaniel Bartlett

//MARIMBA + COMPUTER//

MARIMBA; REAL-TIME THREE-DIMENSIONAL, HIGH-DEFINITION, COMPUTER-GENERATED SOUND; AND REAL-TIME COMPUTER NOTATION PROCESSING //


My performances seamlessly meld my five-octave acoustic marimba with a powerful Linux-based computer, custom computer control interfaces, a variety of hardware audio electronics, and eight loudspeakers (plus subwoofer) arranged in a cube. With the audience positioned in the center of the loudspeaker cube, an elaborate, kinetic, three-dimensional sound environment can be projected into the audience space, totally immersing the listeners in the music. In my immersive sound environments, spatialization (the positioning and movement of sounds in physical space) becomes a central musical parameter, along side of pitch, rhythm/time, timbre, and so on. ...

The sound environments of my compositions are comprised of sounds culled from many sources and techniques, including digital audio manipulations of my live marimba, digital audio manipulations of recorded acoustic sounds stored on my computer, and synthetically engineered sounds. The intricate three-dimensional sound environments of my works are further enriched by the use of high-definition audio (24 bit/88.2 kHz, superior to CD-quality), which allows for a significant increase in sonic nuances.

In my performance rig, two computer monitors are used in place of a conventional music stand. The music notation, now free from the physical realm of paper and ink, is created and manipulated in real time, just as the computer-generated sounds are created and manipulated in real time.

I designed my performance rig for maximum mobility without compromising audio quality, and have performed all across the US in a wide variety of venues, such as art galleries and museums, concert halls, dance spaces, DIY/underground spaces, and many universities and colleges. In order to present my music in its original three-dimensional, high-definition form at every performance, I always tour with all my own electronic equipment and marimba.

Recordings of my original compositions and other projects — all on multi-channel, high-resolution media — can be found on Albany Records, and on my own label, Sound-Space Audio Lab.

I perform on a Malletech Imperial Grand five-octave marimba, and use a custom, silent (true 0dB) computer created by endpcnoise.com.

//SOUND-SPACE AUDIO LAB//

Sound-Space Audio Lab is the name of my recording/production facility and record label, featuring recordings of my work as a performer and composer. Most of my musical activities involve the use of highly detailed, immersive sound environments. In order to fully capture my works, SSAL recordings use high-definition, multi-channel audio. In addition to the high-definition, multi-channel recordings, high-definition stereo and CD-quality stereo versions are also available.

SSAL recordings are available on this website's online store as digital downloads and in two-disc albums (audio CD + data DVD). The audio CD (containing format D) is playable on standard CD players. The data DVD contains audio files in formats A, B, and C.

  • A // CUBE (8 SPEAKERS) // HIGH-DEFINITION 24 BIT / 88.2 KHZ
  • B // QUAD (4 SPEAKERS) // HIGH-DEFINITION 24 BIT / 88.2 KHZ
  • C // STEREO // HIGH-DEFINITION 24 BIT / 88.2 KHZ
  • D // STEREO // CD-QUALITY 16 BIT / 44.1 KHZ

SSAL recordings, as a reflection of my musical aesthetics, are highly dynamic recordings. In other words, there is a huge range between the softest and loudest sounds. The PDF notes accompanying the recordings give directions for setting playback levels based on the loudest section in the composition.

CUBE //  For the cube format, eight loudspeakers should be placed at the vertices of a cube with the listener in the center.

QUAD //  For the quad format, four loudspeakers should be placed at the vertices of a square with the listener in the center. The tweeters should be at about the same height as the listener's ears.

STEREO //  For the stereo format, two loudspeakers should be placed in front of the listener at + and - 20 to 30 degrees. If the speakers are too close together, the stereo image will smaller than necessary. If the speakers are too far apart, the stereo image will be lost (sounding like two separate audio channels coming from the two different speakers). The tweeters should be at about the same height as the listener's ears.

SSAL physical media albums come in two-tone (French muscletone black / brown) kraft paper envelopes, with brown kraft disc labels, black printing, and sleeved in resealable clear poly bags.

Sound-Space Audio Lab album front

front cover

Sound-Space Audio Lab album back

back cover

Sound-Space Audio Lab album inside

inside envelope / discs

Sound-Space Audio Lab album poly bag

sleeved in resealable poly bag

SSAL recordings are availble for purchase on physical media (audio CD + data DVD) and as all-format (A, B, C, and D) digital downloads through this website's online store.

NB/SSAL ONLINE STORE

SSAL recordings are also available for purchase on physical media from Squidco.

SQUIDCO

//IMAGES//

marimba + computer

marimba + computer setup

marimba + computer

marimba + computer setup

marimba + computer

marimba + computer setup

marimba + computer

marimba + computer setup

TSP Overture Center live

timeSpacePlace live

TSP/UECH1

TSP/UECH excerpt 1

trichotomic ecology percussion

percussion setup for trichotomic ecology

TSP/UECH2

TSP/UECH excerpt 2

TSP/UECH3

TSP/UECH 3D installation version

(((clang))) album excerpt

excerpt from the album (((clang)))

(((clang))) installation

(((clang))) installation

ssal1

recording at SSAL

bartlett marimba

performing on the marimba

Nathaniel Bartlett wave energy

"wave energy" score

Nathaniel Bartlett marimba computer

warehouse performance

Nathaniel Bartlett marimba computer

performing with video

//EVENTS//

In order to present my music in its original three-dimensional, high-definition form at every performance, I always tour with all my own electronic equipment and marimba.

VENUE: Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center
WORK: trichotomic ecology (2011) | for marimba, percussion, and viola; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | from the album trichotomic ecology (SSAL-A3) | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | fixed media | composer: Nathaniel Bartlett
VENUE: The Overture Center for the Arts, Promenade Hall
WORK 1: Vivre (2008) | for three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array fixed media | composer: Allan Schindler
WORK 2: in balance (2014, premiere) | for marimba and and mallet-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett
VENUE: Living Arts
WORK 1: KONTAKTE (1958-1960) | for four-channel electronic sound | fixed media | composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen
WORK 2: timeSpacePlace (a-side) (2013) | for marimba and and mallet-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | from the album timeSpacePlace (SSAL-A4) | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | fixed media | Composer: Nathaniel Bartlett
VENUE: Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center
WORK 1: KONTAKTE (1958-1960) | for four-channel electronic sound | fixed media | composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen
WORK 2: GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE (1955-1956) | for four-channel electronic sound | fixed media | composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen
VENUE: The Pharmacy
WORK: trichotomic ecology (2011) | for marimba, percussion, and viola; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | from the album trichotomic ecology (SSAL-A3) | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | fixed media | composer: Nathaniel Bartlett
TIME: 6:30pm
VENUE: Crane Old School White Space
WORK: trichotomic ecology (2011) | for marimba, percussion, and viola; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | from the album trichotomic ecology (SSAL-A3) | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | fixed media | composer: Nathaniel Bartlett

SEATING CHART POSTER

TIME: 6:30pm
VENUE: Crane Old School White Space
WORK: in balance (2014) | for marimba and mallet-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett

SEATING CHART POSTER

TIME: 6:30pm
VENUE: Crane Old School White Space
WORK 1: KONTAKTE (1958-1960) | for four-channel electronic sound | fixed media | composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen
WORK 2: GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE (1955-1956) | for four-channel electronic sound | fixed media | composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen

SEATING CHART POSTER

TIME:5:00pm
VENUE: Snow Fine Arts Recital Hall, University of Central Arkansas
LECTURE/DEMO: A lecture/demo covering the technical (hardware and software) and artistic facets of my compositions for marimba and three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound/notation.

POSTER

TIME:7:30pm
VENUE: Snow Fine Arts Recital Hall, University of Central Arkansas
WORK: apex altissimo (2014) | for marimba and mallet/body-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett

POSTER

TIME:7:00pm
VENUE: Snow Fine Arts Recital Hall, University of Central Arkansas
LISTENING SESSION: A listening session featuring excerpts from compositions by Nathaniel Bartlett, Allan Schindler, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Kraftwerk, and others, presented on the Sound-Space Audio Lab multi-channel, high-definition loudspeaker array.

POSTER

TIME:7:30pm
VENUE: Living Arts
WORK: apex altissimo (2014) | for marimba and mallet/body-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett

EVENT FACEBOOK PAGE

EVENT: Ingenuity Cleveland
TIME:1:00pm
VENUE: Great Lakes Science Center, Reinberger Auditorium
WORK: apex altissimo (2014) | for marimba and mallet/body-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett

EVENT FACEBOOK PAGE POSTER

EVENT: Ingenuity Cleveland
TIME:3:00pm
VENUE: Great Lakes Science Center, Reinberger Auditorium
WORK: apex altissimo (2014) | for marimba and mallet/body-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett

EVENT FACEBOOK PAGE POSTER

TIME:6:30pm
VENUE: The Overture Center for the Arts, Promenade Hall
WORK: apex altissimo (2014) | for marimba and mallet/body-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett
VENUE: Noel fine Arts Center, University of Wisconsin–Stevens Point
WORK 1: KONTAKTE (1958-1960) | for four-channel electronic sound | fixed media | composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen
WORK 2: GESANG DER JÜNGLINGE (1955-1956) | for four-channel electronic sound | fixed media | composer: Karlheinz Stockhausen
TIME: TBA
VENUE: Bancroft Street Market
WORK: apex altissimo (2014) | for marimba and mallet/body-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett
TIME: TBA
VENUE: Fisch Haus Studios // KNOB Festival of New Music 2014
WORK: apex altissimo (2014) | for marimba and mallet/body-tracking computer interface; real-time three-dimensional, high-definition, computer-generated sound; and real-time computer notation processing | 8-channel (cube) loudspeaker array | live | composer/performer: Nathaniel Bartlett

//SCORES//

Occasionally, I create paper-and-ink scores for acoustic instruments, with a special emphasis on percussion. To clearly and accurately represent my musical ideas in written form, I have devised a special notation system. The system uses multiple colors and other graphic devices in order to achieve maximum clarity, and is in general an attempt to visually represent the artistic sensibilities of the music for the performers as intuitively as possible. A guide to the notation system in included at the beginning of each score.

//CONNECT//

FACEBOOK

EMAIL //

nathaniel [at] nathanielbartlett [dot] com