An Evening of the Voice on Tape
The pieces were selected by Peter Castine (Berlin) and Jonty Harrison (Birmingham, England). Peter Castine selected as a theme 'The Voice on Tape'.
Follow is brief resume (and some observations) on the concert (EuCuE series).
All works selected were of the highest technical and musical quality (of their time).
Darren Copeland - Alex Blumer Elegy
Just over 5 minutes long, this work is based upon a text mourning the loss of sight of a youthful woman. The text, in english, is always clearly presented, with the surrounding (often descriptive) sounds forming backdrop, location and commentary. The focus throughout remains the meaning of the text
Mario Verandi - Figuras Flamencas
A cultural exploration of flamenco guitar and its connections. Largely an exploration of the sounds of the guitar and sounds associated with it: singing, dancing, movement ... There is a short fragment of text from Lorca's 'Blood Wedding' subtly mixed into a later section of the piece. The voice is important, but is 'another sound'.
Explores sonic objects. The clin d'oeil (wink and nod) towards classical musique concret is evident in the sound of the turning key: the opening / closing of a door: the marble swirling in a bowl: and their associated digital technology based pixelation, fragmentation and transformation. Not a concrete haggis: closer to a scotch broth or Acousmatique a l'ecossaise. A fine piece for sound projectionists to get their teeth into. Hidden voice elements throughout.
David Prior - Hymne an die Materie
Text, in German, variously textured and layered reading: and a few electric bass notes and riffs. The piece poses for the non-germanaphone the situation of listening to clearly articualted speech (and singing) where it is _very_ clear that there is (verbal) meaning present, but the listener only has access to the sonic and 'textural' properties.
Ben Markland - Inside Out
An exploration of the object: a jazz trio. Objects processed, fragmented, gesturated, activated, soloed, paired, trioed, grouped, ungrouped, elongated, elasticated: rested (momentarily!) chaotic sections followed by unrepeating patterns, fractured layered loops, cut, chopped, diced and minced: no regular beats (groove), and no chords with numbers.
The second half of the concert came on ADAT from Peter Castine.
Judy Klein's (stereo) 1987 - From the Journals of Felix Bosonnet
Employing spoken (german) text over PDP 11-44 resonated vocal-like formant structures. The text is powerful: ("I cannot claim I know no-one, but nobody knows me. ... ") A very 'cool' piece. A virtual suicide note intoned over static sonorities: the question remains un-answered Charles.
Takehito Shimazu - Frühlingsanfang
In 1978, in analog studios, 4-channel was top drawer. A fascinating historical document. Moment form rendered as a Zen garden. Everything clear, all present: the tree is a tree, the cloud a cloud. Five major elements (vocal all) are presented in this piece: each section one or two minutes long. The interaction of the four channels is an illusion created by their simultaneous presentation.
Peter Castine - Entwicklung einer Stimmer
Four channels (1977) flowing sounds: sound masses: masses of sound as solo. Enigmatic interplays of solid, transparent, open and congeled. Exploration of large-scale structural balance and hearing 'into' the sounds (a very long sustained vocal sound just before the end).
The comparison between sound projected pieces and discrete is marked. Sound projection of stereo works is smoke and mirrors (but aren't illusions presented by great masters fascinating). Multi-channel pieces live in another dimension. As 8 channel presentation and composition becomes more available, this form of sound sculpture may evolve as an independent form (medium).
10 ii 1998