Composers in Performance: Todd Lerew

  • Meridian Gallery 535 Powell St. San Francisco, CA USA

Todd Lerew performs an evening of recent works which explore our relation to sound through the use of built and re-purposed instruments and objects. Pieces will include:

- Lexical Semantics, for two identical tuning forks. One fork is heated with a small blowtorch, thereby lowering its pitch slightly. Both forks are struck in unison again and again so that one can observe the beating to slow down as the heated fork returns to room temperature and the pitches converge.

- Test Weekly, for smoke detectors and fog machine.

- incidental polyrhythms induced by drumming at speeds in excess of 180,000 beats per minute, for self-resonating piezos and objects.

- Something with recently built monochords which have tuning machines on both sides of the strings.

Todd Lerew is a Los Angeles-based composer and instrument inventor, currently pursuing an MFA in Experimental Sound Composition at California Institute of the Arts. His work deals with the physical properties of sound and the nature of perception, exploring the use of sound as a plastic medium, and revisiting our understanding of what sound is and how it operates.

He is the inventor of the Quartz Cantabile, which utilizes a principle of thermoacoustics to convert heat into sound, and has presented the instrument at such venues as the American Musical Instrument Society annual conference, the Guthman Musical Instrument Competition at Georgia Tech, Machine Project in Los Angeles, and the Outsound New Music Summit in San Francisco. He is the founder and curator of Telephone Music, a collaborative music and memory project based on the children's game of Telephone, the last round of which was released as an exclusive download to subscribers of music magazine The Wire. His solo piece for e-bowed gu zheng, entitled Lithic Fragments, is out now on cassette on the Brunch Groupe label. His pieces have been performed by members of the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, the Wet Ink Ensemble (New York), the Now Hear Ensemble (Santa Barbara), and the Canticum Ostrava choir (Czech Republic).