Stephen Syverud

Vietnam IV

(piano, and electronics)

Audio sample (.mp3)

Score-I, pg1-2 (.pdf - Click here to acquire Adobe Acrobat Reader)

Score-IV, pg12-13

Performance Instructions

Program Notes:

Vietnam IV is the fourth piece dedicated to all the children killed in the Vietnam War. The composition was written for Arthur Tollefson and the premiere occurred on Northwestern University campus in Pick Staiger Concert Hall.

The composition is a chamber ensemble piece for solo piano and four speakers surrounding the audience. The one continuous movement is divided into four sections of piano material and two electronic sections. The fourth section is based on gestures in sections 1-3. The second electronic section is a variation of material presented in the first electronic section. During the performance, the performer has freedom to "adjust" the piano part to the electronically produced material. This freedom is necessary to simulate the situation present in chamber music.

All sections are constructed from elaborations of distinct short motives. The intervals of the twelve-tone row are used to determine various transpositions/ permutations which in turn determine the various sections, and finally yield the entire composition. Particular rhythmic motive and dynamics are the result of pre-compositional considerations of the series. The unfolding of the pitches is primarily governed by the hexachords which are divided asymmetrically (prime and inversions - first hexachord: 2+4, second hexachord: 3+3). Registral control used throughout the composition provides greater tonal weight to particular pitches.

Performance Instructions
High quality playback equipment: one four-channel quad tape deck (reel-to-reel, quarter-inch tape, 15ips),one ADAT machine, or 2 CD playback units are required. Four high-quality speakers (3-way: tweeter, mid-range, 12 inch or larger woofer) and two stereo amplifiers (if the speakers are not powered). The four speakers are placed around the audience: left-rear speaker is channel one, left-front speaker is channel two, right-front speaker is channel three, and right-rear speaker is channel four.The test tone at the beginning of the tape or CDs is used to set 0db on output meters and can also be used to identify the four speakers. The analog tape is NOT encoded with any type of noise reduction.

The quadraphonic version is preferred. Under no circumstance should either the front or rear channels be used as the sole electronic portion for a performance. Nor should the four-channels be mixed down to two speakers. There is a two-channel version available if performance of the quad version is impossible

If you are interested in acquiring a complete performance materials for this piece, please contact me by email (kindly include your phone number).

I will request a small handling fee to cover reproducing & shipping costs.

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