Counterfeiting in Colonial Connecticut / a lot of tiles (trivial scan)

XI 148CD XI 148CD

XI Records announce the release of a double-CD set of Michael Winter's music organized by guitarist Elliot Simpson. Each CD features a single composition, demonstrating different sides of Winter's work.

The first, "Counterfeiting in Colonial Connecticut", is a socially-engaged piece written for Simpson and in honor of George Floyd. The second, a lot of tiles (trivial scan), derives music from a set of mathematical tilings (often referred to as tessellations). The album art features reprints of altered and counterfeit colonial Connecticut bills as well as custom-made, hand-stamped prints of the tilings. "Counterfeiting in Colonial Connecticut" interleaves guitar passages with readings of excerpts from the book of the same title written by Kenneth Scott and published by the American Numismatic Society in 1957. Readings from the Scott Compendium are complemented with readings of texts written by Winter reflecting events that occurred during the composition of the piece; particularly the protests sparked by the death of George Floyd, a black man brutally murdered by police while being arrested for allegedly using a counterfeit $20 bill. Simpson is accompanied by Gemma Tripiana Muñoz on piccolo and the texts are read by Simpson, Winter, and animator Mandy Toderian.

"a lot of tiles (trivial scan)" is based on a set of rectangle substitution tilings explored by Chaim Goodman-Strauss in his seminal paper "Lots of aperiodic sets of tiles". A rectangle substitution tiling is generated by dissecting a rectangle into four smaller rectangles, which are then dissected into eight even smaller rectangles, and so on. The parenthetical in the title, "trivial scan", refers to the method of sonification. Sonic parameters of the music are determined by scanning and reading the tilings. The piece is quite open. As Simpson explains about Winter's music in the notes: "Although his music covers a wide range of forms, formats, and concerns, there seems to always be a careful consideration of the adaptability of his works... They can expand and contract to accommodate diverse instrumentations, durations, spaces, and situations... There is an understanding that the myriad of possibilities defined by the scores will never be exhausted; new constellations of materials, performers, and contexts will always exist." In the recording of "a lot of tiles (trivial scan)", this variability is explored through different combinations of electronic, synthesized, and acoustic sounds featuring Simpson and saxophonist Omar López, the dedicatee of the work.