bassoon and electronics
7 – 8 minutes
performed here by Maya Stone, bassoon
8-bit Divertimento, composed for bassoonist Maya Stone, is a lighthearted send-up of old-school video game music (the original NES and the Atari 2600, hence the 8-bit in the title). Using classic sound synthesis techniques I was teaching in my intro to electronic music class, I began by contoring a set of bassoon recordings. Aurally stepping back after assembling a few sonic gestures, I realized that my synth/bassoon was starting to sound like something from the world of Mario and Luigi. For the live bassoon’s music, I was interested in pairing expressive, drawn-out gestures against the frankly robotic electronic element. While there is certainly more than a hint of pathos in the opening music, as the piece progresses the bassoon slowly gets pulled into the bubbly (…maybe dorky?) world of the video game.