r. l. reid - composer 1983-1994

No - rl reid did not pass away, per se, at the tender age of 11.

Rather, after spending those years realizing electronic music - a lifetime goal up till then - external changes took rl away from the means of production, and the loneliness of the method took rl to a new direction.

Eventually, rl became a dedicated acoustic musician and instrument builder and regained the rest of r l's first and middle name. Music became fully social and interactive: like Dorothy learning what she really had at home, rl found that there was no need to break down old conventions - and that most of those breaking them down didn't know what it was they were breaking down.

The high point for rl was the 1991 International Computer Music Conference in Montreal. There, r l's defining piece, "We Haven't Got a Hat" was placed next to Iannis Xannakis - the developer of stochastic composition and one of the most highly regarded "experimental" composers of the second half of the 20th century.

Even though rl has never understood or enjoyed Xannakis' music - or his writing - rl knew it was a great honor and placement. rl also knew that after hours of listening to 23 minute pieces composed by digitizing a circular saw, doing a linear predictive coding analysis of it, and resynthizing it multiplied by the nonharmonic overtones of a 4 dimensional bell, at top volume, that r l's piece - which was so reactionary as to contain Melody, Harmony, and Rhythm - would be best presented at a reasonable listening volume.

2000 tense shoulders relaxed. Great composers sat with me at dinner, and later it was announced that I had been nominated for the 1992 commission.

More interesting than all that - when I stopped mourning two years later that I was no longer part of the composition community that had taught and sustained me through all that time - was that I adopted struck strings as my choosen means of acoustic expression. How odd, after such fascinating work with the Karplus Strong Pluck String Algorithm applied to my own take on the melodic theories of Harry Partch, after having written and programmed my enormous digital Kitharas and Canons,