Plastic Parts for orchestra and electronics reflects a world of easily-duplicated, easily-replaceable, easily-broken objects. Comprised (mostly) of only six pitches, the music for Plastic Parts presents itself as occasionally thoughtful and well-designed, but ultimately—in the way that plastic things tend to be—intentionally limited, unreliable and cheap. Throughout the piece, the orchestra moves its way through a matrix of brief, intermingled snippets that sometimes hold together, but often do not.
The electronics for Plastic Parts are made entirely of manipulated recordings of the Iowa State University Symphony Orchestra playing the piece itself. Every sound that comes out of the speakers was made by the orchestra in a pre-performance recording and then subsequently reimagined by the composer. There is no real-time processing and none of the electronic sounds in the piece come from external sources.
Plastic Parts was premiered in Ames, Iowa on February 18, 2018 under the baton of Dr. Jacob Harrison.