contact clusters

Program Notes
contact clusters takes the sound of a pizzicato on the G string of the violin, wanders inside the sound, and is transformed on the other side. The source material of the work completely derives primarily from the four plucked strings of the violin.

Consequently owing to the usage of strings, my interest in mathematical knot theory gave way to the structure, four-channel spatialization, and the course of events throughout the work. While the work can be construed as an odd sort of rondo, the majority of the transformations come from the Reidemeister moves, which are placed in three distinct categories:

twist and untwist in either direction; move one strand completely over another; and, move a strand completely over or under a crossing.

Biographical Sketch
Thomas Dempster is a composer of chamber music, electroacoustic, and intermedia works. His music has been performed at various new music festivals (University of North Carolina at Greensboro, University of Nebraska at Kearney, University of Alabama in Huntsville, University of Kentucky, Indiana State University, GEMDays [UK], #9 Art [Brazil], Electric LaTex, University of Texas-EARS Series, Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacoustic JukeJoint and Barn Dance) and conferences (ICMC, SEAMUS, SCI, CMS). He is a recipient of honors and citations from BMI, ASCAP, and Sigma Alpha Iota. He studied at the University of Texas (MM, DMA), and the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (BM). He is currently Assistant Professor of Music at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, SC. He has music published by Potenza Music and Quiet Design, and his website is