Joe's last mix was begun in the summer of 1999 and completed early in the year 2000. It was commissioned by a great friend, Stuart Sims, in memory of his stepfather Joe Sullivan. At the time, Stuart and I spent many hours listening a variety of music, especially the minimalistic orchestral works of John Adams, he a graduate student the University of Michigan and I a 19 year old undergraduate at Louisiana State. We decided that i would compose a work that would be a celebration of Joe's life rather than a requiem in his memory.
At the time, I was highly involved in the electronic dance scene that was rapidly reaching its peak in the U.S. It seemed fitting to combine my infatuation with minimalism with the thumping music that had taken over the underground night life of cities all across America.
Throughout the work you can hear many things that are at least reminiscent of artist such as Aphex Twin and Squarepusher. joe's last mix was my first attempt at orchestrating techniques common in electronica into a setting for traditional instruments and you will find many sections that seek to imitate delay, reverb and filtering. I was able to achieve this by using compositional techniques that would have been impossible with out the aid of a computer. One of the aspects of the work that still fascinates me is my cyclical use of isorhythms both in motivic and orchestrational material.Joe's last mix has taken on a life of its own since then, being played at concerts and festivals around the world, by professional and amateur ensembles, and has been recorded professionally in Japan by Kafua Records. Originally, Stuart was kind enough to start a publishing company just to get this work out to an eager public, and named the company Loose Filter Music, after a term coined by John Adams (referring to Adams' own very diverse musical influences, due to his parents' very eclectic and democratic musical tastes). In September 2008, our publishing agreement came to an end and I approached Stuart about releasing joe's last mix freely under a Creative Commons license. My hope here is that this will increase performances of this work, lead to new works, and increase the possibility that traditional music can thrive in a changing world.
Special thanks to Stuart Sims for supporting joe's last mix over the years. He has spent countless hours promoting, learning, conducting, and engaging audiences with this piece. This free release is dedicated to the work that he has done to give this piece the wonderful life that it has had and will continue to have.