Lanier Sammons is a composer whose music often explores ideas like audience interactivity, improvisation, extended techniques, the intersection of popular and classical musics and the pairing of electronic and acoustic sound. His works have been featured recently at the Spark Festival, the 2010 SCI Student National Conference, and on EcoSono's Agents Against Agency DVD release. Ensembles such as the Talujon Percussion Quartet, counter induction, the Da Capo Chamber Players, and Rêlache have premiered his pieces. Lanier is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in composition at the University of Virginia where his dissertation will explore audience-interactive music in the concert hall. He has studied composition with Bonnie Miksch, Arthur Kampela, Brad Garton, Joseph Dubiel, George Edwards, Ted Coffey, Judith Shatin, and Matthew Burtner.
"Lullaby for Newborn Stars" was inspired by and partially generated from astronomer Bill Dirienzo's research on areas of star formation in the Milky Way. The electronic portion of the piece, created with RTcmix, renders each region into a single sonic event. Information about the location of each region determines temporal placement and pitch; size of the region determines the event's duration; intensity of the region determines dynamics; and relationship between area and intensity produce activity within the sound. In the midst of the electronic sounds, the clarinet acts a bit like an astronomer as it explores, comments, and contextualizes the sonified stellar information.