Christian Herbst
Computer Music Compositions
Lapidar (composed Oct 2001; 7 min 22 sec; 2-channel tape/CD)

The idea for the piece 'Lapidar', composed in October 2001, evolved after a visit to a mountain resort. Some small stones have been collected there, and upon distributing them in our flat, we really liked the sound they made when being banged together. It reminded us of the insight we had during the trip, that a country with its rock and soil does not necessarily have much in common with the culture that is built upon it.

The piece consists of several algorithmically created layers of sounds. Applied techniques include: granular synthesis; transposition by sinc interpolation; FFT/IFFT with phase cancellation and/or randomized time offsets for each bin after calculating the IFFT. All signal processing has been done with software written by the author in C++. The basic sound material used for the piece consists of: various stones knocking against each other; vocalists singing a several bars of a Pierre de la Rue mass; tiny excerpts of Edward Grieg's first piano concerto; the obligatory four seconds of sound taken from a commercial recording of a punk-rock band; and the startup sound of a computer operating system.

Christian Herbst, born 1970 in Salzburg/Austria, has received his musical training at the University 'Mozarteum Salzburg' (Voice Pedagogy) and at the Stanford University Center for Computer Research in Music and Acoustics. In real life, Christian works as a singing teacher, and as a self-employed IT consultant and software engineer.