Decoherence is dedicated to Samuel Wells and was commissioned by a consortium consisting of Samuel Wells, Aaron Hodgson, Scott Thornburg, and the UMKC Trumpet Studio. The work abstractly reflects on the phenomena in quantum physics and a possible explanation for the phenomena. Decoherence is a phenomena whereby particles that have probable locations always take on a specific location when observed by a human. This is represented through the presentations of hundreds of possible ways to a play a single pitch on the trumpet followed by the performer’s decision to play the pitch in a specific manner. Also, when the performer is making a decision about what to play, they become part of the video. One possible explanation for how probable locations collapse into a specific location is that all probable locations come to exist in their own parallel universe upon observation. This mirrors a philosophical notion of parallel universes whereby each time a person makes a decision the universe fractures into multiple parallel words. As the work progresses the trumpet player has less and less freedom as the specific universe they inhabit becomes increasingly defined by the past decisions.
Christopher Biggs is a composer and mulitmedia artist residing in Kalamazoo, Mich., where he is assistant professor of digital composition at Western Michigan University. Biggs’ recent projects focus on integrating live instrumental performance with interactive audiovisual media. Biggs’ music has been presented across the United States and Europe, as well as in Latin America and Asia. His music is regularly performed on conferences and festivals. He has received grants and awards from SEAMUS/ASCAP, Music Teacher’s National Associations, MACRO Research Organization, Issa Music and Dance Faculty Award, Kalamazoo Art’s Council, and the Piper Enrichment Fund. His music is available on Ravello Records, Electro Acustico Records, SEAMUS CD Series, Thinking outLOUD Records, Irritable Hedgehog, and Peanut Shell Productions.
Performer Biographical Sketch
Samuel Wells is a composer, performer, and arranger based in Bloomington, Indiana. As an advocate for new and exciting music, he actively commissions and performs contemporary works for trumpet.
Hailing from Des Moines, Iowa, Sam has performed throughout the United States, as well as in Canada and France. He has performed electroacoustic works for trumpet and presented his own music at the Chosen Vale International Trumpet Seminar, as well as the Electronic Music Midwest, Electroacoustic Barn Dance, and SEAMUS festivals. Sam and his music have also been featured by the Kansas City Electronic Music and Arts Alliance (KcEMA) and Fulcrum Point Discoveries.
Sam has collaborated with Max Wellman and the Belin Quartet to create all new arrangements of classic songs from the American songbook. His work (dys)functions is published by qPress.
Sam has degrees in both performance and composition at the University of Missouri-Kansas City, where he studied composition with James Mobberley, Paul Rudy, Chen Yi and Zhou Long, and trumpet with Keith Benjamin. He is currently studying with Sven-David Sandström, Jeffrey Hass, and John Rommel while pursuing graduate degrees in Trumpet Performance and Computer Music Composition at Indiana University, where he serves as the Assistant Director of the IU New Music Ensemble.