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Laurie Radford - Terms of Occupancy

Program Notes

Terms of Occupancy is an eight-channel variation/ remix of a larger stereo work, à la cire perdu (2004), this previous work itself a re-appropriation and reworking of materials from some of my previous instrumental and vocal works. The title Terms of Occupancy refers to the strategies and methods that bind me to the sounds I deploy as well as a preoccupation with multi-spatial determination for these sonic objects. (The brief reference with octophony needs only brief mention!)The confrontation with an expanded spatial parameter led me to a substantial reshaping of the original sounds as well as a total recasting of their compositional possibilities.

Terms of Occupancy is an attempt to compose for an eight-channel audio performance system via a two-channel monitoring system, the missing ‘real’ channels being supplied by virtual and imagined spatial strategies given visual support within a multi-track audio sequencing environment. Just as an orchestrator summons the sound of an oboe to mind when scoring for a large ensemble, or an architect engages their experience of shape, colour and function to conceive and model a new structure, composers draw upon both intuitive spatial knowledge and consciously acquired spatial predilections and explorations in their animation of sounding space. Composing Terms of Occupancy in this ‘virtual’ fashion meant imagining and hearing more than was audibly present upon playback.

The challenge in composing for eight discrete channels in Terms of Occupancy was the transposition and adaptation of a language of spatial movement within the stereo realm, as well as the experience of multi-channel diffusion in concert, to a fundamentally different spatial palette that afforded a new set of possibilities for meaningful movement and integration within the compositional design.

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