フロー (2017), scored for voice, guitar, and live electronics (projected via small tactile transducers into the guitar), uses as its source material the score and various recordings of John Dowland’s 1600 lute song “Flow, My Tears,” as well as computer voice renditions of the song’s text, translated into Japanese via Google Translate (hence the Japanese title, a Katakana rendering of the word “flow”). “Flow, My Tears” has often been performed on guitar, figuring prominently into the repertoire of the duo for whom the piece was composed. The translation of the text into Google Translate Japanese reflects both my fascination with machine translation artifacts, and my “lost in translation” experiences as an international resident of Japan.
In the electronics, the computer voices, as well as zither, koto, waterphone, and fire organ samples are mapped to the recordings of the Dowland via concatenative synthesis techniques. (The images of flowing tears in the Dowland song are contrasted with references to the fires of Hell: hence waterphone and fire organ.) The electronics may be projected through a PA system or through transducers attached to the guitar and a second resonating surface.
This is a recording of the work's world premiere at Spectrum in New York in 2017.