Lament for Flute and Computer

Program Notes
Flutist and poet Wayla Chambo commissioned Lament as part of her TranScript project that explores the intersections of text and music. Lament is a response to Chambo’s poem “A History of Lament.” The piece engages themes of space and location from the text, which is evocative of the Orpheus and the Underworld myth. These include the transition between death-life and indoors-outdoors, as well as musical themes of lament from the classical tradition. Lament unfolds through a series of layers; electroacoustic textures bookend sung text from the poem with flute and live processing at the center of the piece. The processing references the spatial oppositions in the poem by extending the acoustic flute into the virtual realm.

Biographical Sketch
Steven Kemper ( is a composer, music technologist, and instrument designer. As a composer, Steven creates music for acoustic instruments, instruments and computers, musical robots, dance and video. His compositions have been performed by the American Modern Ensemble, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, NOW ensemble, and the Grupo Sax-Ensemble. They have also been presented at numerous festivals worldwide, including ICMC, NIME, SEAMUS, SIGCHI, SMC, 12 Nights, Florida Electroacoustic Music Festival, Third Practice Festival, Pixilerations, American Composers Alliance Festival of American Music, and the Seoul International Computer Music Festival. Steven has received awards for his music from the Ammerman Center for Arts and Technology, Meet the Composer, the Danish Arts Council, and the International Computer Music Association. His first solo album of electroacoustic music, Mythical Spaces, was released by Ravello Records in 2018. Steven is a co-founder of Expressive Machines Musical Instruments, a collective dedicated to creating and composing music for robotic instruments. He also co-developed the RAKS (Remote electroAcoustic Kinesthetic Sensing) System, a wireless sensor interface designed specifically for belly dancers with composer and dancer Aurie Hsu. Steven’s research has been presented at NIME, ICMC, and MOCO, and published in Leonardo and Organised Sound. Steven received a Ph.D. in Composition and Computer Technologies from the University of Virginia, and is currently Assistant Professor of Music Technology and Composition at the Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University.