stuplimity no.3


for solo trombone and live-electronics
Premiered by the composer, Brooklyn Lyceum, March 21, 2007, during the 2007 MATA Festival

Additional Performances:
iQuit Music Series, Rogue Buddha Gallery, Minneapolis, May 17, 2007
Ne(x)tworks' Music Without Dance Fest at Greenwich House, Feb. 26, 2012

Program Note (from premiere):
The third piece in my stuplimity series continues a process of exploring temporal and sonic perception, with the idiomatic and timbral qualities of trombone as the medium. no. 1 is for septet, no. 2 is for five or more (there is also a trio version of no.1). This solo iteration furthers the downward scaling process, but the addition of live-electronics (via MAX/MSP) creates a sort of parallel upscaling of sonic probabilities.

I came across the title, a neologism combining stupefy and sublime, while reading an essay on Sol LeWitt's multiple media and format series Variations of Incomplete Open Cubes. Sianne Ngai, the literary theorist who coined the term, offers a definition: " experiencing the sublime one confronts the infinite and elemental; in stuplimity, one confronts the machine or system, the taxonomy or vast combinatory, of which one is a part." At the time, I was in the process of creating stuplimity no.1 for a collaboration with choreographer Yoshiko Chuma, who also commissioned no.2. Chuma utilizes several 7x7 foot metal-frame cubes in her work, and I was looking to LeWitt for some intertextual inspiration. The conceptual thread I'm following is heavily influenced by Variations: textural and thematic material recurs throughout, but in varying degrees of transformation and temporality. This performance is dedicated to Leroy Jenkins.