Decoherence

Program Notes
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.

Biographical Sketch
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.