Electroacoustic Works collects three major pieces from the early 21st century New York-based composer Dan Joseph. This double CD release includes Set Of Four, a group of fixed-media sound collages using the processed hammer dulcimer as the primary sound source, two live performances of Dulcimer Flight for electroacoustic hammer dulcimer, and a 64-minute version of Periodicity Piece #6, a mixed-media work that originated as a multi-channel sound installation. With roots in early minimalism, ambient music, and acoustic ecology, the works herein represent a significant subset of the composer's larger body of work from the past twenty years that he has developed alongside an active career as a composer of instrumental chamber music. Dan Joseph began his career as a drummer in the punk scene of his native Washington, DC. During the late 1980s, he was active in the experimental tape music underground. He spent the '90s in California where he studied at CalArts and Mills College. His principal teachers include Pauline Oliveros, Alvin Curran, Mel Powell, and Terry Riley. Since the late 1990s, the hammer dulcimer has been the primary vehicle for his music.
From the liner notes by Alan Licht: "What's striking about Dan Joseph's music is that it's drone oriented but also mindful of timekeeping. This would seem to be a paradox: most drone-based music and/or classic minimalism often reaches for a feeling of cosmic timelessness, or a sense of perpetuity via repetition, but the pieces on these discs all demarcate time in some way . . . Duration, another minimalist conceptual hallmark, is a means to an end rather than an end in itself for Joseph: the combination of simple harmonic material and extended lengths of time allows for more activity that is readily perceived, rather than to set up a near-static hypnotic state that is only occasionally jostled by a subtle shift in the music . . . In the computer age, digital memory and storage capacity are crucial technological attributes and an everyday concern; Dan's electroacoustic pieces set up their own kind of memory banks for both the performer and the listener. The musical information is being supplied to and retrieved from both electronic and mental repository systems. This is post-minimal music where repetition is a mnemonic device, rather than a tool for trance or head-clearing."