Tristan Perich to Celebrate 'Active Field' with Performance at Roulette, 12/3

Earlier this year, composer/maker/visual artist Tristan Perich launched Compositions, an edition of four creatively packaged recordings on his imprint, Physical Editions. Each Compositions release spotlights a single work by Perich for acoustic instruments plus 1-bit electronics, and comes in an artist-designed package that includes a poster-sized print of the complete score.

The edition, which began in March with Parallels, continued with Telescope (September) and Dual Synthesis (October). Friday, November 20 brings the final work in the edition: Active Field, performed by Ensemble Signal with Brad Lubman conducting. Details on the entire series appear below and at

To celebrate Active Field and the complete Compositions edition, Perich will give a rare improvisatory performance with solo piano and 1-bit electronics at Roulette in Brooklyn on Thursday, December 3 (8 pm). The piano was Perich's first instrument; he is still inspired by its massive physicality and the directness of its sound-making mechanism, which has informed his work with low-fi electronics. He will first improvise with piano alone, then with 1-bit tones using hand-built electronics related to his best-known piece, 1-Bit Symphony, and finally with 1-bit noise from his ongoing Noise Patterns project. Though these improvisations are not part of the Compositions series, they likewise spotlight Perich's potent mixtures of acoustic and 1-bit sound. Advance tickets are $20/$15 for members, students, and seniors, available at; or $25/20 at the door.


Noted for music of "intense, hypnotic force and a surprising emotional depth" (Wall Street Journal), Perich is best known as the creator of the ingenious 1-Bit Symphony, a full-length piece on a microchip housed in a transparent CD case with a headphone jack. With his Compositions series, he extends his exploration of sound, object, and design to include a crucial link in the creative process: the notated score. In the same way his 1-Bit Symphony included its source code and schematic, the scores in Compositions expose the music behind the recording. The works are:

- Parallels (50', 2013) for tuned triangles, hi-hats and 4-channel 1-bit electronics; Meehan/Perkins Duo

- Telescope (7', 2007) for two bass clarinets, two baritone saxophones and 4-channel 1-bit electronics; Argeo Ascani + Alex Hamlin, saxes; Sara Budde + Eileen Mack, clarinets

- Dual Synthesis (23', 2009) for harpsichord and 4-channel 1-bit electronics; Daniel Walden, harpsichord

- Active Field (25', 2007) for 10 violins and 10-channel 1-bit electronics; Ensemble Signal conducted by Brad Lubman

These four works capture the expressive range of Perich's instantly recognizable sound world, from the stately, pastoral quality of Active Field (the most "orchestral" of the pieces), to the nocturnal ebb and flow of Telescope, the effervescent skitterings of Dual Synthesis, and the hard-driving metallic rush of Parallels. The recordings are mixed and mastered by engineer Michael Riesman, noted for his long association with Philip Glass.

The complete Compositions edition is available for $50, or as individual works: $18 for Parallels, $12 for Telescope, and $15 each for Active Field and Dual Synthesis.

In the New Year, Physical Editions will release a limited Artist Edition (100 per release), featuring a custom-made, self-contained player for each composition along with an archival print of the score on deckled-edge, art-quality paper. Watch this space for further details.


Tristan Perich's (New York) work is inspired by the aesthetic simplicity of math, physics and code. The WIRE Magazine describes his compositions as "an austere meeting of electronic and organic."

1-Bit Music, his 2004 release, was the first album ever released as a microchip, programmed to synthesize his electronic composition live. His latest circuit album, 1-Bit Symphony, has received critical acclaim, called "sublime" (New York Press). His award winning work coupling 1-bit electronics with traditional forms in both music (Active Field, Observations) and visual art (Machine Drawings, Microtonal Wall) has been presented around the world, from Sonar and Ars Electronica to MoMA and bitforms gallery.

This season he will have work at the San Diego Museum of Art, the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo in Santiago, Chile, and at L'Auditori, Barcelona. He received a 2011 New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship. He was a featured artist at Sonár 2010 in Barcelona, and in 2009, Austria's Prix Ars Electronica awarded him the Award of Distinction for his composition Active Field. Rhizome awarded him a 2010 commission for Microtonal Wall, an audio installation with 1,500 speakers, which was shown at MoMA. He was artist in residence at Issue Project Room in 2008, at Mikrogalleriet in Copenhagen in 2010, and at the Addison Gallery in Andover, MA and Harvestworks in New York in Fall 2010. His work has received support from New York State Council on the Arts, the American Music Center, Meet the Composer and others. He has spoken about his work and taught workshops around the world. Perich studied math, music and computer science at Columbia University and received a masters in art, music and electronics at Interactive Telecommunications Program at Tisch School of the Arts, NYU. (

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