Clarinetist, composer, theorist, and software designer Matt Ingalls foresees a brave new world in which advanced digital sound reproduction systems will obliterate the way we currently experience music -- a future where "no sound coming out of loudspeakers could ever be trusted (or even considered) to originate from some human source." Hoping that this post-karaoke transformation will impel renewed interest in live acoustic performance, Ingalls has put together "Y2K," a concerto and group by the same name, to explore a possible scenario of this imminent collision of concepts.
One of the more ambitious younger-generation improvisers on the scene since 1994, the recent Mills College grad is both an active performer and grass-roots organizer. He has worked with many of the Bay Area's veteran jazz and new-music leaders, co-hosted the experimental concert series "East Bay Creative Music Festival," and founded the "ba-improv" e-mail discussion list, which circulates community-building ideas, info, and debate. And, in the past few years, he has penned dozens of compositions, largely to flex extended techniques on solo clarinet, and designed interactive software that enables a computer to improvise along with performers.
Though electronics will not figure into the mix for "Y2K," the artist says his work in this medium has greatly influenced his "way of thinking about the structure, timbre, and reproduction methods of the music." Ingalls plans to trip up his ensemble cast of skilled twentysomethings (including saxophonists Brian Kane and John Ingle, and bassist Ashley Adams) with a densely notated score of algorithmic improv passages and sections that are intentionally "too hard to sight read." He expects to force a "crash" in the musicmaking, akin to the Y2K bug, and eagerly awaits the fallout.