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Adam Scott Neal on Obedience School

On Saturday, I caught up with composer Adam Scott Neal. Neal was at EMM presenting a piece called Obedience School, which is based on samples of his dog.

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Program notes:

Obedience School
by Adam Scott Neal

The structure and most of the sounds in Obedience School are derived from a 14.5-second recording of a dog. The onsets of different sounds, such as a bark, a breath, or a footstep, determined the beginnings of formal divisions. The length of each section was multiplied by 40 to create the finished form, with a length of 9:40. Each section of the work focuses on a particular process with the original sound, although the other processes often interrupt or emerge from beneath the main sound. The processes were ordered in such a way to reflect the sounds from the original sample, but the correlation is not exact. For example, the metric attacks of the first section reflect the dog’s pseudo-metric footsteps, and the brassage-seagulls reflect his soft whimpering.

Adam is very 21st Century in his approach to distributing his music (perhaps this has something to do with his age?), so you can hear a lot of his music at

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