With the release of Volume 3, Space Genetics
—the avant-jazz duo of Paul Scea
and Eric Haltmeier
—continue their exploration of the hybridization of improvisation, electronic music, jazz, and controllerism. Recorded in Ipswich, Massachusetts, the album features eight compositions that merge woodwind improvisations with digitally manipulated audio samples, analog and digital synthesizers, and an angular jazz sensibility.
Their 2009 release, Volume 1, was created through an Internet-based collaboration. Scea and Haltmeier shared compositional ideas and audio samples online, working toward developing compositions that simultaneously referenced their affinity for harmolodics and their desire to expand their sonic palette and surrounding musical context through the use of Ableton Live. Volume 2 (2011) saw Space Genetics
approaching their identities as improvisers without the comfort their familiar woodwinds. The entire recording was made through improvised performance using the Novation Launchpad as an interface with Ableton Live.
Volume 3 demonstrates an evolution of the explorations of their earlier work. Having each developed deeper and more complex sonic palettes within Ableton Live, Haltmeier and Scea have created a series of compositions and improvisations that strive to holistically merge their musicianship on woodwinds, synthesizers, and laptops.
'Top Of The Pingree' is a development on the closing track from Volume 1 entitled 'Top Of Your Head'. An electronic percussion layer underlies the track and was created collaboratively by the students in an introductory course in music production and technology at the Pingree School in South Hamilton, Massachusetts where Haltmeier is Director of Music. Manipulations and reformations of flute lines from 'Top Of Your Head' intersect with an angular soprano saxophone improvisation.
A dialogue between percussion and electronically modified trumpet and trombone samples provide the sonic framework for 'Gorg', while 'Efra' features an improvised exchange between live and sampled flute and soprano saxophone. The work of Sun Ra and late- period Miles Davis show their influence in 'X-Rated Plaza'. 'Sound Mind' is a sonic collage, striving to create a mobile-like balance between sampled guitar, percussion, and improvisation using 'Aalto', a semi-modular software synthesizer.
'Salubrious Miasma' is an ambient composition of foggy textures created through sampled guitar, strings, bass, and percussion. Sampled trumpet outbursts set against waves of electronically modified piano and guitar samples establish the sonic palette of 'Old Crow with Strings'. Working both toward and against a rhythmic pulse, the piece is sifted through a chorale of vocal samples that are underlined by a texture of digitally altered cello drones.
'Volume 3' closes with the thickly distorted sounds of Haltmeier’s soprano saxophone and Scea’s flute as they develop an improvised dialogue above an insistently angular bass line in 'Survey With The Fringe On Top'.
'Volume 1' and 'Volume 2' are available from spacegenetics.bandcamp.com.Space Genetics
Volume 3 is available for download from iTunes and Amazon.Paul Scea
is the Director of Jazz Studies at West Virginia University. His recordings with the Grismore/Scea Group and Damon Short are critically acclaimed.Eric Haltmeier
is Director of Music at the Pingree School in South Hamilton, MA. He has performed with the Car Music Project and the duo “Stop Correcting Me" with Wilbo Wright.