Although this piece does exhibit many of the traditional approaches to melodic and harmonic variation, there is the additional dimension of sonic variation and enhancement made possible by the computer. The piece requires the use of a Buchla “piano bar”— a device that sits along the top edge of the piano keys and allows for a traditional acoustic piano to act as a very sensitive midi controller. As live performance “data” is detected (sound from the microphone and midi data from the Buchla Bar) it is passed along to a software program created in the max/msp programming language. This software enhances and varies the performance input in a variety of ways. Variations on a Byzantine Christmas Chant is included on my 2012 CD, Winter Nocturnes.
An active composer, percussionist and teacher, Patrick Long (b.1968) grew up in Annapolis, Maryland and received degrees in composition from Syracuse University (B.M.) and the Eastman School of Music (M.M., D.M.A.). He has completed over 80 premiered works for orchestra, band, chamber ensembles, soloists, young players, theatre and film. He is best known however for his percussion music and for his works that combine live performers with fixed media or interactive electronics. His pieces have been heard in almost all 50 states and throughout Europe and Asia. Festival performances include MusicAcoustic (Beijing), SEAMUS, Electronic Music Midwest, SCI National Conference, North American Saxophone Alliance National Conference, the Percussive Arts Society International Convention, the Florida State University New Music Festival, the Indiana State University New Music Festival, the Brave New Works Festival, the Bonk Festival, International Percussion Art Festival (Poland), Gaudeamus Competition and Festival (Amsterdam), Image, Movement, Sound Festival (Rochester) and the University of Delaware New Music Festival, among others.
His work has been commissioned and performed by many prominent ensembles and soloists, including the Syracuse Society for New Music, Timaeus Ensemble, Corigliano Quartet, Air de Cour Ensemble, Maverick Ensemble, Ames Quartet, Maharlika Trio, Lincoln Chamber Singers, Williamsport Symphony, South Orange Symphony, the Penn Central Wind Band, hundreds of percussionists and percussion ensembles, and several excellent soloists including Davis Brooks (violin), Jennifer Blyth (piano) Andrew Harnsberger (marimba), Deborah Andrus (clarinet), Gail Levinsky (saxophone) and Phillip O’Banion (percussion). In 1997 his 35-minute work for chorus and orchestra Rain, River, Sea was performed at Carnegie Hall by the Susquehanna University masterworks chorus and orchestra under the direction of Jennifer Sacher Wiley.
As a percussionist he performs regularly in the orchestral and chamber realms, presents recitals of his own live electro-acoustic music, and continues to be an active practitioner of pop music with central Pennsylvania’s most imposing all-professor band, Faculty Lounge. As a teacher he has instructed students of all ages in both composition and percussion, and has built a distinctive composition program at Susquehanna that has produced many successful graduates.
He resides in Shamokin Dam, PA with his wife Julie, daughter Renée and son Brendan.