Externalities for amplified cello, digital audio, and digital video was completed in 2011. The piece reflects on economic externalities—costs of economic and consumer actions that are not reflected in the pricing of consumer goods. The piece focuses primarily on negative environmental externalities. The cellist represents a consumer who is trying to figure out how she wants to relate to this system. In the first section she experiments with different actions and experiences the results, which are represented in the digital audio and video. In the second section the cellist takes a broader look at the global economy and the climate. In the final section the cellist imagines alternatives to the present system.
Christopher Biggs is a composer and multimedia artist residing in Kalamazoo, MI, where he serves as the Assistant Professor of Digital Composition at Western Michigan University. Chris' recent work focuses on the integration of live instruments with digital audio and video. Chris’ work has been presented across the United States and Europe, as well as in Latin America and Asia. His music is regularly performed on conferences, festivals, and recitals.
Chris received the 2008 Missouri Music Teacher’s Association composer of the year, the 2009 SEMAUS/ASCAP first place award, and the 2011 Truman State/Macro Composers Competition award and commission. His first music release, Metatexts, is available through major online music retailers.