Senses I-IV (2015-2017)

These four pieces for clarinet and electronics each explore one of four senses, and use the fifth sense, hearing, as the medium of exploration.

Sense IV: Visuality (2017), 8’; clarinet and electronics.

Visuality is the fourth, and last, piece of a series of four pieces for clarinet and electronics that are based on the senses of the human body as perceived through a fifth sense (hearing). Visuality reflects on the nature of sight, specifically, seeing in distinctly contrasting environments. The first is nature – ripples in the lake, leaves and blades of grass moving with the wind. While our eyes see a solid canvas upon first glance, our eyes start to focus on each the individual movement…each singular leaf making up the whole tree. The second is man-made construction, for example, the concreteness of a subway station when no one else is around. Our eyes wander from object to object, but these objects are unaffected by forces of nature. They are static, unmoving, still.

Kevin Kay · Sense IV: Visuality

Premiere: November 17, 2018 by Kevin Kay at Spectrum, Brooklyn, NY.

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Sense III: Warmth (2016), 6’; clarinet and electronics.

Warmth is the third piece of a series of four pieces for clarinet and electronics that are based on the senses of the human body as perceived through a fifth sense (hearing). This piece utilizes two harmonic series a minor third apart from each other, which blend at times into a diatonic scale. The live processing was realized using MaxMSP. WARMTH reflects on the notion of touch, and with it, the feeling of warmth. We spend our lives seeking warmth – warmth on our skin, warmth in our hearts. And with the feeling of warmth, we contrast it with the feeling of coldness…shivers…goosebumps…let us all acquire the warmth we seek.

Kevin Kay · Sense III: Warmth

Premiere: March 11, 2017 by Kevin Kay at the National Student Electronic Music Event 2017, Louisiana State University.

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Sense II: Sapidity (2016), 6’; clarinet and electronics.

Sapidity is the second piece of a series of four pieces for clarinet and electronics that are based on the senses of the human body as perceived through a fifth sense (hearing). This piece is about taste. I imagine this piece as being compared to the imaginary tastebuds bouncing around one’s mouth, whether these flavors are delightful or repulsive.

Kevin Kay · Sense II: Sapidity

Premiere: June 4, 2016 by Kevin Kay at the Arts Factory, Charlotte, NC during the Charlotte New Music Festival 2016.

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Sense I: Aroma (2015), 6’; clarinet and electronics.

Aroma is my first serious work in electroacoustic music, and also is the first piece of a series of four pieces for clarinet and electronics that are based on the senses of the human body as perceived through a fifth sense (hearing). This piece explores the idea of scent and how we can connect certain smells to places we love to spend our time in. I do most of my composing in coffee houses, and so incorporated into this piece are manipulated samples from a favorite local coffee house. Additionally, this piece uses sampled pitches and multiphonics of the clarinet.

Kevin Kay · Sense I: Aroma

Premiere: March 25, 2016 at the National Student Electronic Music Event 2016, University of Oklahoma.