Jason Belcher-"Feynman Sketches"

Music By: Jason Belcher

Jason Belcher is a composer and improviser whose music is concerned with varying degrees of performer control. He can be heard in various do-it-yourself contexts throughout the United States and is a member of
the Vermont-based ensemble Brass Balagan. In recent years, he has worked with musicians Anthony Coleman, Joe Morris, and John Zorn, and was involved in the making of Voyage in a White Building I, a 2013 release of music by Burr Van Nostrand on New World Records. Currently a PhD candidate at the University of Pittsburgh, Belcher previously attended the New England Conservatory where he studied with Frank Carlberg, Robert Cogan, John Mallia, and the poet Ruth Lepson.The development of this piece was informed largely by descriptions of physical processes and experiments as well as by the diagrams of Richard Feynman. The visual language of Feynman diagrams continues to be utilized in newer particle illustrations, and the illustrations bear a striking resemblance to the works of various American experimental composers. Two of these “sketches” are graphic scores that utilize elements found in illustrations from particle physics. One additional sketch is an entirely verbal score based on an excerpt from Feynman’s lectures at Cornell University in 1964 (published as The Character of Physical Law by the MIT Press). The centerpiece of the performance is a movement for solo piano and electronics that samples part of Feynman’s 1964 lecture, accompanied by sine waves that shift according to particle collision data from CERN. Certain sketches may be projected during the performance, which will last about 10 minutes. “Thanks to Dr. Ayres Freitas for entertaining my questions throughout this process, pointing me to an array of resources, and inviting me to his seminars. Hearing interactions among physicists proved essential to settling many formal aspects of the work you will hear today.”
"Feynman Sketches"