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Есенска месецина [Esenscka Mesechina] (Autumn Moon)

by Robert Sazdov

A 7.1 composition for Double-Diamond speaker configuration (11:45 min.)

The composition consists almost entirely of vocal manipulation of three (3) traditional Macedonian ‘autumn’ songs, mesechinko (beautiful moon), aj stani (wake-up), and dzibirichki (swallows) – there are tapan (big drum) manipulations towards the end of the composition.  All songs are taken from the Pirin region of ethnographic Macedonia and are performed by the trio, Sestri Bisserovi (The Bisserovi Sisters), arguably Pirin’s leading vocal ensemble and one of the Balkan’s most recognised performers.

Due to the sister’s similar vocal characteristics, close performed musical intervals, and long drone like phrases, results in the increased auditory perception of harmonics. There is much high frequency energy, demonstrated by spectral analysis tools, with many frequencies nearing 16kHz.  The mentioned elements are seized on for the compositions and form the basis for most vocal manipulations. This results in almost meditative sounding drone passages, use of close harmonic intervals, and the auditory results of manipulating, morphing, and isolation harmonics as high as the 40th harmonic.

The composition uses the Double-Diamond speaker configuration in a 7.1 set-up, the rear speaker is not utilised. Using seven (7) speakers assists with the spatialisation of rhythmic elements, which are in 7/8, 7/4, 7/2, as well as, larger time scale divisions of 7. This not only allows for precise placement of melodic and rhythmic elements within the seven (7) sound point sources but also reflects the most commonly used time division in traditional Macedonian music. The spatialisation of sound objects is determined by an experimental panner, which I am currently authoring, and uses traditional embroidery patterns to outline trajectory paths. Finally, Есенска месецина is viewed as a neo-traditional composition, continuing the tradition of Macedonian folklore.

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