swarms of light in metal

Program Notes
In swarms of light in metal, the interaction between performer and electronics is intended to mirror the interdependence between different elements in an ecosystem. Individual components of ecosystems may by themselves seem simple, but the inter-relationships between them are highly complex and infinitely variable. In the same way, this piece focuses on small, subtle sounds and minute variations in timbre, both in the percussion and the electronics. The relationships between these sounds reflect our ecology, as small changes in any part of the piece affect the meaning and significance of the others. swarms of light in metal was composed for percussionist Trevor Saint and premiered as part of the Percussive Arts Society International Conference (PASIC) Focus Day in 2010.


Biographical Sketch
Jeff Herriott is particularly attracted to sounds that change at the edges of perception, which gently shift and bend. He creates music without hurry, using slow-moving shapes with a free sense of time. His works often explore repetition with subtle variations in gestural pace, instrumental character, and tuning. His music is designed to create a personal, intimate experience that invites listeners to focus on momentary details while the larger structure unfolds in ways that they may not quite grasp. Jeff employs electronics extensively in his work, principally to alter instrumental timbres and shift tunings by tiny amounts - changes that listeners may not actively perceive but which can foster a sense of uncertainty and wonderment.

Jeff's music has been performed and commissioned by bass clarinetist Michael Lowenstern, the Electronic Hammer, Due East, percussionist Greg Beyer, clarinetist Guido Arbonelli, Arraymusic, Noise Ensemble (Morris Palter, Mark Menzies, and Chris Adler), the Syracuse Society for New Music, violinist Colin Jacobsen and members of the The Knights, and CONTACT contemporary music. His work has been supported by a MATA Festival commission, an American Composers Forum commission through the Jerome Composers Commissioning Program, a McKnight Foundation Visiting Composer Residency, and the American Music Center Composers Assistance Program.

Jeff is currently an Associate Professor of Music at the University of Wisconsin at Whitewater, where he is the coordinator of the Media Arts and Game Development Program and teaches courses in audio, multimedia, music technology, and composition. Jeff completed his Ph.D. at the University at Buffalo (principal studies with composer Cort Lippe), having previously received degrees from Florida International University and Middlebury College.