Guided improvisation with spectral processing
Composer: Stephen Lilly
Edgeplay is a guided improvisation for saxophone and live signal processing (Max). As the title implies, the piece explores boundaries, thresholds, and extremes. The saxophonist is instructed to push technique beyond the limits of control and investigate timbre as a delineator of sound: differentiating registers, distinguishing tone from breath and focused pitch from bands of noise. The score is a hybrid of text and graphics, left intentionally vague to suggest rather than dictate the performer’s investigation. The electronics (primarily spectral manipulations of the live saxophone) react to extremes, dynamic and durational, and adjust to the performer over the course of the piece. The sonic result is a mapping, albeit partial, of the sonic transformations idiomatic to the saxophone when in the capable hands of a trained performer.