Palimpsest for electric guitar and live electronics (2003-2006)

Recording with James Holdman - guitar

- SuperCollider standalone app
- score

Palimpsest for electric guitar and real-time electronics was originally written with the concept in mind that the electric guitar is one of the few instruments that an audience doesn't necessarily have to hear. One of my primary considerations in the piece was the control of what would and wouldn't be heard from the performer themselves, even though everything that is heard still originates in one way or another from them.
The idea of the computer part 'revealing' what has been played in the past by the guitar is an idea I have been trying to realize for some time (almost four years in fact). Early in the summer of 2006, the news of researchers at Stanford using laser technology to reveal the scraped text from the Archimedes Palimpsest finally helped bring quite a bit together for how I wanted to compose the piece as a metaphor of the past as knowledge to be discovered and re-discovered so it can be interpreted by those who come across that knowledge in a different time and place.
The piece explores this clouding of the past, the re-discovery of information, and the process that this entails. Along with the clear success there may also be confusion, an occasional conflict with what was believed to be fact, and even the successes and failures of the technology itself, which sometimes brings information almost within reach, only to be lost through its own limitations, possibly to be discovered at a later time through other means.