This video uses the piece "Clusters" by Hubert Howe, for which the program notes are as follows: Most sounds that we hear in music consist of a spectrum of harmonic partials or overtones, and sometimes these also include some inharmonic components. In Clusters, the overtones are all clusters of 5-note chords, reflecting the harmony of the passage, duplicated through three to four octaves above the note; they are not harmonic partials. In other words, harmony becomes spectrum. For most sounds, the amplitudes of these components are varied so that they have a kind of “shimmer” moving up and down the spectrum. There are five different kinds of instruments used in the piece: the basic cluster itself, a “sparkle” or variegated cluster, a “whoosh” sound that attacks each of the components separately, a “gong” sound, and a cluster glissando. The piece begins in the middle range and proceeds through several short passages, each emphasizing a combination of the instruments, until in reaches a climax, where all instruments are used, and concludes quietly, much as it began.
Hubert Howe was educated at Princeton University, where he studied with J. K. Randall, Godfrey Winham and Milton Babbitt, and from which he received the A.B., M.F.A. and Ph.D. degrees. He was one of the first researchers in computer music, and Professor of Music at Queens College of the City University of New York. He also taught at the Juilliard School from 1974 to 1994. From 1989 to 1998, 2001 to 2002, and Fall 2007, he was Director of the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College. He is currently the Executive Director of the New York Composers Circle and Director of the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival. Recordings of his computer music have been released by Capstone Records (Overtone Music, CPS-8678, Filtered Music, CPS-8719, and Temperamental Music and Created Sounds, CPS-8771) and Ravello Records (Clusters, RR 7817).