Chaz Underriner Fall 2014 Project


Chaz Underriner (b. 1987 in Midland, TX) is a composer and guitarist based in Denton, Texas. Most of Chaz’s work revolves around the notions of landscape and portraiture in the context of experimental music. Chaz has composed works for solo instruments, chamber ensembles, chamber and symphony orchestras, jazz combos, electronics, film/intermedia, dance and choir. Chaz’s compositions have been performed by IKTUS Percussion, Manufaktur für aktuelle Musik, the Krulik Quartet, Austin New Music Co-op, guitarist Nico Couck, the CalArts New Century Players, the UNT Baroque Orchestra, the Lewisville Lake Symphony and the Santa Clarita Master Chorale.

Artist Statement

Chaz Underriner’s work revolves around the notions of landscape and portraiture in the context of experimental music. This overarching concern with a sense of place has manifested itself in a variety of working methods and media. For example, Landscape: Texas Plains (2014) is chamber music written with the experience of driving through the Texas plains in mind. Each musical section resonates in tone with highways that the artist has driven numerous times in his life as a Texan. In this way, the visual sensation of driving through a landscape has been translated into purely instrumental music. In contrast, the nocturne series (2012-14) is an exploration of the Blanco riverbed in the Texas hill country that uses multiple groups of instruments, processed and raw field recordings, environmental sound and video. Lastly, Backroads (2014-) is a work for video and 8-channel audio that further explores the experience of driving the back roads of Texas, but by using ambisonic field recordings, positive organ recordings, video of driving back roads, and video of slowly changing landscapes rather than acoustic chamber music. Chaz has built a body of work by transmuting his central concern of landscape into multiple media.

  1. Backroads – Process Post #3

    The final stage of this semester I’ve spent my time finishing the video and audio of Backroads, finishing my artist framework map and creating a submission to a call for works for video art.   My artistic framework map consists of 5 different topics involved in my life as an artist: outcomes, audience, process, the 3 types of pieces I make, and the issue of perception in my work. In my framework paper,...
  2. Backroads – Process Post #2

    My progress on Backroads has been mainly in the piece itself, particularly on one 10-minute section of the piece, and on my Artist Framework document. Regarding the piece itself, most of my time has been spent on a section of the piece that is one continuous shot of driving back roads at night. This shot is the most heavily modified video and audio of the work, and the shaky conceptual grounds for doing...
  3. Backroads – Process Post #1

    Backroads is a 45-minute piece for video and 8-channel audio that concerns the experience of living in driving through Texas by the juxtaposition of visual drones – driving the back roads of rural Texas – with ambisonic field recordings of contrasting acoustic environments and positive organ drones. The bulk of my research has been into tying together Art and Science in this piece. The primary way I’ve found to do so concerns Neuroscience....

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