ANASTASIA OF THE GARDENS - In this double-CD collection of musical compositions, created between 1988 and 1997, carbon-based and silicon-based intelligences collaborate to produce a suite of challenging explorations for the adventurous listener. There are several improvisational performances created manually on controller instruments embracing a wide spectrum of stylistic approaches to harmony, form, melody, rhythm, tonality - emotional and intellectual musical strategies in general. There are also many computer software-assisted compositional structures. These passages vary from each other and within themselves over time in their treatment of probability, randomness, abstraction, and overall ambiguity of direction and purpose. They are all unique, yet all evolve from their human-created counterparts, reflecting in some way the inherent musical nature of those interactions between human and instrument.
The performance material represents the more tangibly human-derived aspect of the music, albeit often dichotomous in nature itself, whereas the algorithmically-created material represents the many mirror-like reflections with which the human-song must co-exist as it strives for a unified, integrated identity.
The resulting fabric of an un-self-concious core Self, interwoven with reflections which perhaps produce a detached, perceived, and/or
(mis-)interpreted Self, creates the fertile yet often bewildering garden in which modern humankind is dancing.
ROBERT SPALDING NEWCOMB - An artist people consistently find difficult to categorize, especially in a music scene as diverse and challenging as the one in his hometown, Ann Arbor, MI. A composer, multi-instrumentalist, computer programmer, theorist, writer, and poet, who combines elements of numerous musical disciplines and cultural domains into a performance style that is truly a unique matrix of energies. Creative explorations focus on the study of musical and linguistic structure, complex systems, cognition, transcendent states, and improvisational performance.
Aesthetic niches, adjectives, labels and comments from audiences describing the solo concerts: ...a riveting performance, intense, profound, challenging, minimal, magical, just amazing, avant garde, free improvisation, experimental, spontaneous composition, technical but not techno, computer music, raga-like, mystical, a meditation, an original paradigm, computer algorithms, new forms, razor edge guitar solos, meditative sitar improvisations, compelling poetry/spoken word, and most often, 'unlike anything else.'
Newcomb has immersed himself in a wide range of musical exploration including traditional folk and blues traditions of the British Isles and the US, classical guitar technique, jazz theory, improvisation, composition, digital audio, computer music programming, advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning, and Indian Classical Music.
He has toured India (2005) as a guest of the US Embassy. He has published his compositional theories and described his unique music software in the Cambridge University Press (UK) journal, 'Organised Sound' (1998). He has produced six self-published albums of original music (1986, 1991, 2000, 2004, 2007, 2008) . He has designed and implemented complex computer systems for the New York Stock Exchange, Chemical Bank, and Manufacturers Hanover Trust/Prodigy in New York City (1983-1989). His computer music has been featured in electronic music festivals and conferences worldwide (1993-1999). He has been commissioned to compose music for dance, yoga and carillon. From 1995-1998, Newcomb was Computer Systems Consultant for the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance; from 1998-2007, Director of Information Technology; and is currently Program Manager for Business Information and Network Security.