Sound Travels 2002
Concert Program Notes
System Test (fire and ice) by Maggie Payne - Electroacoustics
This workwhich primarily uses my recordings of Jacobs ladders (see description below), ice melting, and papers sliding against each other as the sourcesis a rather dramatic piece. I attribute this to the dynamic/dramatic character of the Jacobs ladder. There is such a powerful intensity in the discharges, accompanied by wonderful sizzling, hissing, crackling sounds, and powerful low frequenciesdanger is always present. The sources are convolved, stretched, granulated, equalized and further processed many times over, then whirled into this intense piece.
I used a high voltage (neon) transformer for the Jacobs ladder. Simple AC in, brass rods attached to the output terminals of the transformer in the typical spreading V configuration. The arc between the two rods starts at the bottom where theres least resistance and travels up the rods until the distance between the rods becomes too great, then arc dissipates, then another arc starts at the bottom again. The sounds resemble hissing, spitting, zappingvery electric sounding. These can be very dangerous due to the high voltage (dont touch the rods when its turned on), the often exposed AC leads, the intense heat produced in the rods (dont touch until theyre cooled off) and the ozone which the arc produces.
Underbelly performed & composed by Wende Bartley & Lori Freedman - Bass Clarinet and Electroacoustics
Listening... to dreams, experience, urban and natural soundscapes, our accumulative creative paths.
Journeying... to the Toronto Island, to Amsterdam, and back again to Gibraltar Point.
Co-creating... combining electroacoustic technology, instrumental improvisation, composition & collaborative process, Underbelly emerges at the end of the tunnel.
Releasing contents held within the box, Pandora waves.
Spiraling around the labyrinth, Ariadne finds her way.
Below sea level, muted voices of tunnels, parks and streets of Amsterdam reverberate. Bass clarinet released in the studio, contained again on the screen.
A chosen path begins, then turns, cycling onto new terrain. Sounds and environments reunited and reshaped in the swirling, darting melange of a multi-dimensional sonic space.
Thanks to the Manitoba Arts Council, the Laidlaw Foundation, Steim Studio in Amsterdam, the Socan Foundation, and New Adventures in Sound Art for their support of this project.
No Mans Clan by Lori Freedman - Multiple clarinets (4 are previously recorded, overdubbed).
This piece was written at a time in my life when up could have been down, yes no, never always. I was performing in several different cities on at least three clarinets, with a variety of ensembles and in solo
settings, and multiple concert programmes. I was thinking a lot about the in-between states of my life: of varying consciousnesses, of mixed heritage and culture, love and lust, right down to entering and leaving concert stages. I was feeling that I had fallen into all the cracks there ever were. Uncategorizable.
No Mans Clan was written in 1996 and Commissioned by the Hornby Island Music Festival with a grant from the Canada Council for the Arts.
The Toll by Marilyn Lerner - Electroacoustics
The source material for this piece comes from my improvisations on the acoustic piano. They were recorded earlier this year by Steeve Labrosseur during a residency at Avatar in Quebec City. We achieved substantial variation in sound quality by experimenting with different microphones and microphone placements. The resulting audio piece was later spatialized with the Richmond Audio box by myself and Darren Copeland.
I have a long and complex relationship with the piano, having played it since the age of 7. At times I have been extremely frustrated by this large elephant, this bourgoise parlour instrument. I have often felt its limitations in terms of expression. Over the past ten years I have been active in the improvised music scene, and this frustration has been remedied to some extent by experimentation with extended technique. I am particularly interested in the strings, in their harmonic overtones and the sound that is generated when they are plucked or struck at different parts of the instrument.
Concurrent with my career as a performer, I have been creating audio art pieces over the last five years. The idea for this project was to portray the piano in a different way, to liberate it and to re-present it, to take it apart and to disguise it. I wanted to make it sing, shout, cry, pulsate and to create a soundscape that is at once familiar and foreign.
The title reflects the mood I was in through the creation of this piece which was one of sadness about the events of the past year. There was an element of mournfulness in some of the sounds I chose and also a call to awareness that I tried to imply with the sound of bells tolling.
Paths performed and composed by David Eagle - Intrepreter and multi-channel sound diffusion system
Paths is an interactive multi-channnel work which combines live processing and diffusion of different kinds of sound objects and textures: miniatures (original short solo and chamber compositions or fragments); vocal material including spoken and sung text, and environmental sounds. The title Paths reflects both the nature of the work and an underlying theme of the texts: explorationphysical, geographical, and psychological.
The work has a variable form, allowing the performer to choose events and textures using a responsive graphic map on the computer monitor. Actions on the computer will trigger changes in the graphic map and sound, associating visual cues with sonic gestures.
Visitation from the Seven Hathors by Wende Bartley - Viola and Electroacoustics
Performed by Laura Wilcox (Viola). Prerecorded voices: Wende Bartley, Kate can Doorne
Three years ago I made a mask as one way to connect to the low-bellied voice which often came out of my being during vocal improvisation. During one of those improvisations, I felt as if antlers were sprouting out of my head as deep vibrating sounds came through me, seemingly from the belly of the earth herself.
HathorAncient Egyptian goddessLady of the HornsMystical embodiment of SevenArchetype manifest through sonic vibration
Vocal sounds, raw & processed, form the backbone of the prerecorded material. Spinning the voices through me, they re-emerged as gestures for the viola.
Her resonance twists and turns between the two personasdisembodied voice/bodied interpretation, eventually to be greeted by another presence, an ancient templed voice sung by Kate Van Doorne. Her presence creates a union, as ecstatic string textures unite with the solo performer to complete the encounter.
FertilityDecayUnion of the ever-changing & the ever-lastingSonic alignment of divinity and humanityInaudible made audible
I thank the Laidlaw Foundation, the Music Gallery, Laura Wilcox, and Sound Travels for their support in the realization of this project