Notes on "Three Anna Studies"


Study: Anna, the long and the short of it (1993)

Four Voice Canon #9b ("Anna Canon") (6:7:8:9) (1994)

Study: baa baa birthday have you any star (1995)


All three pieces realized at the Bregman Electronic Music Studios, Dartmouth College. All three pieces use the voice of my daughter Anna Diamond Polansky, recorded binaurally, at ages 6 months, 3-4, and 4 1/2 respectively. The third study also uses the voice of Eleanor Wilson, age 4 1/2.

Study: Anna, the long and the short of it


:54 seconds


Study: Anna.... makes use of a very short binaural recording of a single cry, including preliminary inhale, of my daughter Anna at age six months, in a bad mood. That sound, and portions of it, were pitch-shifted and time-stretched using Tom Erbe's Soundhack program to produce this piece.


Study: Anna... appears on the CD The Aerial #6, from Non Sequitur Recordings.

Four Voice Canon #9b (6:7:8:9)

("Anna canon")


4:02 minutes


Four Voice Canon #9 is a set of short tape pieces made using five vocal sounds of my four year old daughter Anna as the source. FVC#9 is a set of mensuration canons in the manner of my eight previous Four Voice Canon s (1975-present), and is composed using my computer language HMSL (co-authored with Phil Burk and David Rosenboom). FVC #9 uses HMSL to generate a Csound score, which is then used in conjunction with Soundhack to create the canon. The Csound score is for one voice only, and determines the permutation list of each voice (the permutations are by a kind of "closest neighbor" algorithm), as well as detailed panning, durational, and loudness information. The mensuration canon is a strict one of pitch- and time-compression, and is generated in Soundhack. Each of the four versions of the piece is the same, except for the superparticular duration and pitch ratios used for the four voices, which are: a: 4-5-6-7, b: 6-7-8-9, c: 8-9-10-11, and ø: the golden mean.

Study: baa baa birthday have you any star


1:44 minutes


Study: baa baa birthday ... uses the voices of my daughter Anna Diamond Polansky and her friend Eleanor Wilson, at around age 4 1/2. Recordings of them singing "Happy Birthday" (to each other), "Baa Baa Black Sheep," "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star," and "Puff, The Magic Dragon," were morphed into each other in a wide variety of ways using my own spectral mutation functions implemented in Tom Erbe's Soundhack. I was particularly interested in morphing their names, said by each other in their renditions of "Happy Birthday..." All the sounds in this piece are the results of these mutation functions.


Study: baa baa birthday ... is on theComputer Music Journal CD, 20th Anniversary Issue.