Nameless Sound presents Arnold Dreyblatt

Arnold Dreyblatt
Arnold Dreyblatt Photo by Brian Wahr

Arnold Dreyblatt, playing prepared contrabass, magnetically vibrating wires, sine waves, and MRI loops, will perform three compositions:

  • Nodal Excitation (1979) - for amplified acoustic contrabass prepared with music wire. In the late 1970s, Dreyblatt began developing a modified double bass prepared with unwound music wire, in order to excite its higher overtones. Over time, he developed a repertoire of isolated percussive and bowed attacks, which evolved into a continuous rhythmic technique in which he could excite chords of overtones above the fundamental frequency. This technique is a combination of bowing and striking, in which a short portion of the bow is brought into contact with the string in a forward and backward motion.​
  • Repertoire (2017) - for amplified acoustic contrabass prepared with music wire, magnetically vibrating wires and sine waves. This is a new composition for “excited strings” bass and laptop. Bowed open strings and harmonics are performed against the resonance of magnetically vibrating wires and tuned sine waves in a multi-layered textured drone composition.
  • Magnetom (2017) - live performance with MRI Loops.​ Magnetom is the second live performance work Dreyblatt has created from a palette of acoustic signals and patterns derived from a recording project involving a Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scanner. Dreyblatt understands this device as a giant Tesla coil, where alignment and resonances of a powerful magnetic field are gradually altered by rotating radio frequencies. Under Dreyblatt’s direction, technicians operated the machine especially for these recordings, searching for software settings generating a desired sonic output rather than scanning particular body areas, as this machine is normally used. The audio segments were analyzed, deconstructed and grouped as by pitch, rhythm and density. For the resulting composition, these files have been combined and fused; yet they have not been digitally treated or altered in any way.

Event Details


3.30.17 | 8:00 pm


Midtown Arts and Theatre Center Houston (MATCH)
3400 Main St.
Houston, TX 77002


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