Composed 1982, for flute and alto flute, clarinet, violin, viola,'cello, percussion, piano, and computer-synthesized sound. Semar Editore; Neuma Records.
The Boston Globe, Tuesday, March 23, 1982
By Richard Buell
Nineteen different items can turn a concert into a spare-parts inventory, and a rather jumbled one at that, if you're not taking notes. ... It being the Boston Musica Viva, though, expert, confident performances were the norm, and in Peter Child's "Ensemblance" a pleasant find turned up.
Child has put his mastery of the hardware (the MIT Experimental Music Studio's Music-II) to resourceful, artistic purposes. Sly similarities between "normal" instrumental sounds and computer-processed ones tease the ears, in the manner of acoustical puns; you also get the sense of a spacious mental canvas being excitedly filled up with discoveries and insights and speculations about mixtures of sonority, but with a difference -- a keen sense of harmonic color and rhetorical device. One was always fascinated and surprised with what the piano-wind-string-percussion ensemble was producing, and with what might issue from the loud-speakers -- in parallel, amplification, or contradiction. "Ensemblance" ended with a chime-and-piano bell-tolling aura that evoked (and not a bad thng) the ending of Stravinsky's "Les Noces." The repeat performance let you delve into its luxuriance all over again.