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Lamb, Catherine : Point/Wave (Another Timbre)

The first piece composer Catherine Lamb has written specifically for acoustic guitar was commissioned by Chilean guitarist Christian Alvear, extending concepts from an installation piece titled "Secondary Rainbow" with Bryan Eubanks, Lamb employs electronics over an infinite cycle of four "environmental chords" which overlap and resonate with one another.

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product information:

Label: Another Timbre
Catalog ID: at142
Squidco Product Code: 27574

Format: CD
Condition: New
Released: 2019
Country: UK
Packaging: Cardboard Gatefold
No recording data listed.


Catherine Lamb-composer

Cristian Alvear-guitar, electronics

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Artist Biographies:

"Following interacting points within expanding harmonic space, Catherine Lamb has devoted her structural work to the inner life of tonality, constantly searching through the limits of human perceptions and resonances in overlaying atmospheres.

Lamb's continued series Prisma Interius (2016-ongoing), made with her partner and frequent collaborator Bryan Eubanks, filters the outside environment into a harmonic field, basso continuo, tanpura, or bridge between the musical form and the perceptual listening space. Her first orchestral work, Portions Transparent/Opaque (2014), was premiered by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra at the 2014 Tectonics Festival in Glasgow, Scotland. After an extended tour of her solo work Shade/Gradient (2012) through North America in 2012, Lamb received a travel grant from the Henry Cowell Foundation, allowing her to pursue work with Eliane Radigue and to form new relationships with European musicians.Earlier in her career, Lamb studied under composers James Tenney and Michael Pisaro at the California Institute of the Arts, where she also met director and dhrupadi Mani Kaul. It was during this time that she began diving deeply into her own practice of what she later termed "the interaction of tone."

Lamb is the co-founder of Singing by Numbers (2009-11), an experimental vocal ensemble formed with Laura Steenberge that focused on pedagogical research around pure ratio tuning. She has written for ensembles such as Ensemble Dedalus, Konzert Minimal, the London Contemporary Orchestra, NeoN, Plus/Minus, and Yarn/Wire. Lamb is involved in ongoing research with Marc Sabat on intonation; with Johnny Chang on Viola Torros; develops work regularly with musicians such as Rebecca Lane, Dafne Vincente-Sandova, and Frank Reinecke; as well as taking part in Triangulum with Julia Holter and Laura Steenberge.

Lamb is the recipient of a fellowship from Akademie Schloss Solitude (2016); an Emerging Composers Grant from the Wallace Alexander Gerbode and William and Flora Hewlett Foundations (2008-09); and was a Staubach Fellow at the International Summer Course for New Music in Darmstadt, Germany (2016). Lamb's writings and recordings have been published by another timbre, Black Pollen Press, Kunst Musik, NEOS, THE OPEN SPACE Magazine, Q-O2, sacred realism, and winds measure recordings.She received a B.M. from California Institute of the Arts, and an M.F.A. in music/sound from Bard College."

-Foundation for Contemporary Arts (

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Chilean musician dedicated to the performance, premiere and recording of new music. He serves as co-curator of the Experimental Music Festival Relincha, in Valdivia, Chile.

Since the beginning of his career he has been constantly performing in the main auditoriums and concert halls of his country, as well as international festivals and concert venues. In recent years he has concentrated its efforts in performing educational concerts in rural areas of the Los Lagos region, in Southern Chile.

His work has been published by edition wandelweiser records (germany), irritable hedgehog (usa), cathnor (uk), rhizome.S (france), potlatch (france), 1000fŸssler (germany), lengua de lava (mexico), caduc (canada), melange editions (japan), b-boim records (austria) and erstclass (usa)."

-Cristian Alvear Website (

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track listing:

1 Point/Wave 37:01
sample the album:

descriptions, reviews, &c.

"Another Timbre Interview with Catherine Lamb

How did 'Point/Wave' come about, and had you composed for guitar before?

In 2013 or 14 Cristián had approached me to write a guitar piece for a project he was doing in Chile. I was (am) very touched by his playing. I had composed for guitar as a teenager (which I won't share). My uncle was (is) a very serious and knowledgeable classical guitarist (though he never performs in public as far as I know), so I was around a lot of inspired thinking around the guitar and its (mostly lute) repertoire and approaches. When I started to work with particular harmonic space around 2004 I must admit I found the guitar to be rather frustrating as I could never keep it in tune, I think I am forever trying to tune one whenever there is one lying around! I have included re-tuned electric guitars with e-bows in various pieces (perhaps inspired by Michael Pisaro's approach), limited to partial playing, and I have a pedal steel piece for instance. However, Point/Wave truly is the first piece I have specifically written for acoustic guitar (as a more mature composer that is). When I wrote it I thought that it could benefit from the extra sonority/decay and harmonic clarity of the steel string, however Cristián has proved its potential on the classical guitar!

How do the electronics in the piece work?

It is the first piece which approaches the concept of the Secondary Rainbow Synthesizer, which later exists in my series of nine pieces Prisma Interius. The concept extends from an installation piece Secondary Rainbow Bryan Eubanks and I were collaborating on together in 2014, where we set up live microphones and filtered them directly with resonant band pass filters.

Here in Point/Wave there is an infinite cycle of four "environmental chords" which overlap with one another. The algorithm has a variable potential so that it is always a slightly differing duration of those overlaps. I called the chords threes, sevens, elevens, and thirty-ones, having to do with their respective prime emphasis. So there is always the potential to correspond with the happening chord in the guitar part, but sometimes it needs to continue to cycle before you have the sympathetic correlation in a given moment, or between the two parts is another kind of overlay. In the part of the guitar, the cycling is also potentially infinite...

The environmental chords function more as augmentation to the points/decay the guitar is articulating at a given moment. The guitarist is asked to place the points in a manner in which they are allowed to rise and fall with the wave of collected points, so that there is always an overlapping of their interactions. The rise and fall regarding what happens to be occurring in the surrounding environment itself as well as the resonance factor of each sounding chord."

Related Categories of Interest:

Compositional Forms
Ambient & Minimal Music
Guitarists, &c.
Solo Artist Recordings
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