A.I. Awakens - Chris Armstrong
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A.I. Awakens is the first recording in the Spaceage Furniture Music series by Chris Armstrong. The title of which is inspired by the 1960s recording, Space-Age Bachelor Pad Music by Esquivel. The term, "Furniture Music," was coined by composer Eric Satie to refer to music used as a sonic backdrop rather than as the primary focus of a listener's attention. It is music that provides an ambiance and sets a mood.
The music for A.I. Awakens was chosen for its atmospheric and generally "cinematic" vibe. It is programatic, in that it depicts the evolution of artificially intelligent robot-insect, macro/nano bot type beings from servitude to sentience and then, soon afterward, to total neural cascade failure...a false start in the rise of artificial intelligence...but leaving the door open for possible future successes...and more recordings in the Spaceage Furniture Music series.
This recording is my first major undertaking as a composer and is dedicated to the memory of James Tenney (1934-2006), American composer of, in his words, "unpopular music." I was lucky enough to have taken several of his classes at CalArts and had in-depth conversations with him about composition and the theory and practice of experimental, contemporary "art" music.
He was always very generous with his time and also very patient with my many critical statements and questions about modern music. He once wrote on one of my papers: "I'm very surprised at your ultra-conservative attitudes about music. I wonder if there's anything I can do to help change your mind." He did eventually help me to extend my aesthetic boundaries a bit and I'm very grateful to him for that.
Other CalArts professors who influenced my ideas about composition through discussions and/or classes were: John Bergamo, Art Jarvinen, Marc Lowenstein, and Stephen "Lucky" Mosko. Thanks for your patience and wisdom as well.