À La Mode was written in 1984, and is scored for eight instruments and synthesizer. The title is indicative of the variety of meanings of the word 'mode' which are relevant to the music. Perhaps most obviously, the harmonic language of the piece is modal.
The piece also calls upon players to perform from a variety of 'modes' or styles of notation. These modes range from strictly notated segments, to repetitions of such segments which are begun and ended by the conductor, to descriptions of musical gestures to be realized by the performers.
'À La Mode' means 'in the style,' and this music is drawn from an awareness of many different musical styles. À La Mode begins and ends in clear reference to the repetitive and motoric style which has crept into the mainstream of new music over the last decade. However, there are a number of other styles which are employed as well...
As the title indicates, Real Time (1983) focuses upon the interaction of real time computer generated sounds with a large chamber ensemble. The Synclavier II is a computer and a digital synthesizer which can be controlled with a traditional piano-type keyboard and an array of buttons and foot pedals. The Synclavier's role in the piece is sometimes as a soloist, sometimes as part of the ensemble. The Synclavier makes use of a very wide variety of instrument-like timbres to complement and extend the colors of the instrumental writing... —Neil B. Rolnick
This title, originally issued on the CRI label, is now available as a burn-on-demand CD (CD-R) or download in MP3/320, FLAC or WAV formats. CD-Rs come in a protective sleeve; no print booklet or jewel case included. Full liner notes are accessible via the link above.