Wayne Siegel ‘Autumn Resonances’

Autumn Resonances front coverBarry Truax with Wayne Siegel, 2003Autumn Resonances side AAutumn Resonances LP back cover

  1. Autumn Resonances (26:05)
    For piano and delays
    Wayne Siegel: piano
  2. Domino Figures (18:36)
    For 42 guitars
    Guitarists from the five Danish Academies of Music
    Erling Møldrup: conductor

Total time 44:41
LP released by Paula Records, PLP 21, Give, Denmark, 1983

Between 1974-77, American composer Wayne Siegel (b. 1953) studied composition with Per Nørgård in Aarhus, Denmark, where he then settled to work as a composer. In the 1980s, he was appointed administrative director of the West Jutland Symphony Orchestra and in 1986, director of the newly-founded DIEM, the Danish Institute of Electroacoustic Music, in Aarhus (see offical web presence). Though Siegel is not considered a Minimalist composer as such, some of his works include phase patterns and simple, repetitve melodic lines, as is the case in the present LP.

AKG-TDU7000 stereo digital delay unitOn Autumn Resonance, composed 1979, Siegel uses the technical possibilities of the newly launched AKG TDU 7000 stereo delay unit (pictured left). The device is set to produce 2 different delays through the right and left speakers. During the first 10 minutes, the piano is on atmospheric mode, the delays creating a bath of enchanting sounds around the listener while the pianist plays fast chord successions on high pitched keys. Starting at 10:50, a short sequence of staccato notes create strong rhythmic patterns based on vivid delay effects. At this point, the piece reminds Steve Reich’s ‘Piano Phase’ (1967) and its rapid, pulse-based lines. The whole passage is quite intoxicating. A ritardando at 16:30 brings us back to the former enchanting piano layers.

‘Domino Figures’ is perhaps more a sound installation than a proper music composition. Simple acoustic guitar chords are passed from player to player with a 1 beat delay, creating a slowly evolving, impressionistic mass of chords. The classical guitar properties (plucked, detached notes and long resonances) disappear in favor of a new sound organism with completely different characteristics: sustained notes, massive sound, spatial effects. The transformation is as radical as, say, Alvin Lucier’s I Am Sitting In A Room.


5 Responses to “Wayne Siegel ‘Autumn Resonances’”

  1. 1 Mike Lund October 10, 2009 at 12:42 pm

    When you have some time, check this out: bullofheaven.com 100 part series of experimental piano works (I-C) and a lot more minimalist & abstract music. I mean a LOT.

  2. 2 el malcontento October 10, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    sharebee m’emm…####..de

  3. 3 connorferster (@connorferster) January 2, 2012 at 8:44 am

    Thank you so much for making that record available for download. I had heard it in a library once about 7 years ago and never thought I would be able to find a digital copy of the piece. Thanks again!

  4. 4 continuo January 2, 2012 at 9:05 am

    You’re welcome.

  5. 5 Debbie Wayne January 20, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    Why didn’t I discovered your blog 5 years ago?

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