Thea Musgrave’s Narcissus

5 Oct

A couple years ago, I put together a Pure Data patch for playing Thea Musgrave’s Narcissus with my friend Margaret Rowley, a great flute player and ethnomusicologist. This was one of my first times making a software solution for some piece of hardware that was either too hard to get a hold of, or didn’t exist anymore. Narcissus calls for a delay unit that has some pitch modulation too, with very specific instructions for delay time and feedback, so making a Pd patch to emulate it wasn’t so bad.

I went the route of programming the patch to be played by a separate performer, playing a separate computer part (every time I say that, it reminds me how my parents would make me stop playing the computer all the time growing up). I’ll probably post my part soon, but I guess I have to track it down first. 🙂 Anyhow, here is the patch:


All the controls can be controlled from the computer keyboard (no MIDI controller or other interface). I’ll post more detailed instructions later, with the computer part.

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2 Responses to “Thea Musgrave’s Narcissus”

  1. Steven December 30, 2011 at 7:20 pm #

    Hello, I’d be keen to see the computer part for your version or Thea Musgrave’s Narcissus if it’s available. I’m planning to perform it with a friend in the New Year! Have you got any tips?

    • nate February 23, 2012 at 4:28 pm #

      Hi Steven! Sorry I missed your comment! I hope this isn’t too late, but if you download Pure Data from and the “NarcissusDelay.pd” in this post, it has everything you need to make your computer into a delay unit good for performing this piece. shoot me an email at if I didn’t completely respond too late!

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