William Hellermann – Ariel, for electronics (1967)

The name Ariel is related to Shakespeare’s character in The Tempest: the music isn’t. I chose this name for my piece only because it sounded appropriate to the music. Not because the music was especially poetic or playful, but because Ariel suggests to me a transformation of spirit, the ability to change shape at will.

In listening to Ariel, it might also be helpful to know that it was not designed to illustrate any technical process or aesthetic dogma; nor was it intended to create any visual images. It is a composed performance, not a composition. A performance, because all its events are the result of live operations in real time, not the result of careful measuring and splicing. Composed, because many separate performances were then transformed, made to have new significance, by being placed in relation to each other. The performing medium was an electronic music studio: the basic sound source was a gong. –William Hellermann

Art by Winslow Homer


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