About John Holland

John Holland is a composer and Professor Emeritus in the Studio for Interrelated Media at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. In the early 1980's, he co-founded Nature and Inquiry, an artists group that meets weekly to discuss ideas in art and science. The group has presented work at the MIT Media Lab, the Harvard Smithsonian Observatory, Habitat Institute, The Copley Gallery in Boston, to name a few. For the past 20 years he has taught a class that introduces artists to leading-edge ideas in science. In 2001 the Boston Globe reported that Nature, Science and Art was the most popular class at the College.

Five Natures

A Collection of Pieces for Solo Instrument and Electronic Music

(a digital realization)

kite Tree Landscape by Evan Roth

1. Periodicity for Trombone and Electronic Music                   9:15

Periodicity refers to waves, vibrations, and cycles ranging in scale from tiny vibrations of atoms and molecules to large-scale astronomical cycles, including periodic activity such as night and day, heartbeat and breathing, etc. The structure of the trombone score itself is organized in alternate periods of continuous and discontinuous musical patterns, played against the (electronic) background of ‘static change’.

2. Water for Violin and Electronic Music                   12:36

The title Water refers to every kind of water, from an H20 molecule to our largest oceans. The clicking noises on the recording at 8:45 and 10:34 were recorded at the Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, off the coast of Queensland, Australia. (Thanks to Daniel Blinkhorn)

3. Entanglement for Bassoon and Electronic Music              10:23

Entanglement refers to the physical phenomenon of two different objects that exist in separate states that are inexplicably linked together. It is also associated with current explorations into the teleportation of photons and atoms.

4. The Huma for Flute and Electronic Music                    8:02

The Huma is a legendary bird of paradise that is said to never come to rest, living its entire life flying invisibly high above the earth, and never alighting on the ground. The Huma is considered to be a passionate bird. It is said to have both male and female natures in one body, each nature having one wing and one leg.

5. Elements for Piano and Electronic Music                   12:00

The title Elements refers to the Periodic Table of Elements that describes the complete set of atoms that makes–up the material universe. These fundamental units of matter (atoms/molecules) combine to form gases, liquids, and solids that result in the objects of our familiar world. In the piano score, there are combinations of tones that are arranged in short, contiguous, often unrelated segments, all of which, taken together, represent a diverse collection of ‘things’ and ‘events’ continuously and spontaneously going on around us.

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