Budo Variations (2006)
trumpet, drumset/vibes/marimba and live electronics

'Budo' Variations takes as its starting point the track 'Budo' by Miles Davies and Bud Powell, from the album 'The Birth of the Cool'. This otherwise conventional bepob track opens with an astonishing and very avant-garde sounding eight bar introduction in which two pairs of dissonant, atonal chords alternate around the interval of a tritone, and in which block harmonies alternate with drum fills. It is this material which forms the 'Theme' from which the subsequent variations are derived. Some of the variations are very recognisably related to the theme, and others less so.

Live electronic processing transforms the solo trumpet into the six melody lines of the Miles Davies Nonet (the other parts are piano, drums and bass), enabling harmonic and polyphonic textures to be generated from single lines.

Coincidentally, 'Budo' also happens to be a collective term for Japanese martial arts, being a compound of the kanji ? (bu) - 'war', 'warrior', 'fight', or 'fighter' - and ? (do) - meaning 'path' or 'way'. Perhaps this may be more significant than it appears at first: there are certainly many paths in 'Budo' Variations , and quite a bit of fighting!

 

 

 

Andrew Lewis (born 1963) studied composition with Jonty Harrison at the University of Birmingham, England, completing a doctorate in 1991. He was one of the original members of BEAST and worked with them throughout the 80s and early 90s.

In 1993 he moved to North Wales to take up a post at Bangor University, where he is now Professor and director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios. He also directs ACWSma , which acts as a focus for the creation and dissemination of electroacoustic music throughout Wales.

His output is predominantly acousmatic music (music performed over loudspeakers), but he also composes for conventional forces with or without electronics. He has won several prizes and awards - PRS, Bourges 'Euphonie d'or' (France), Prix Ars Electronica (Austria), Stockholm Electronic Arts, Hungarian Radio, Noroit finalist (France), ARTS XXI (Spain), CIMESP (Brazil) - and is performed internationally. One vinyl and seven CD recordings are available. For more information visit www.AndrewLewis.org