The piece premiered online in May 2021 at the European Art Science Technology Network for Digital Creativity (EASTN-DC) in Corfu, Greece. It was subsequently performed in person at Sonic Matter (Zurich), METS Fest (Cuneo, Italy), Noise Floor (Staffordshire, UK) and New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival.
Tongue Drum was composed in 2021 during a period of lockdown in the UK “The piece follows a series of my previous acousmatic works that were each developed from a single sound source: bicycle, thumb piano, and spinning top,” Berezan explains. “I am drawn to the challenges and rewards of working with reduced starting points in much of my work: sculpting, designing, and revealing greater complexities of texture, timbre, and music from the original source and sound, and reflecting the character and stories that the source objects bring with them.
“I had recently been given a tongue drum (a pitched metallic percussion instrument) as a gift and was immediately drawn to the potential of its sound for use in an electroacoustic work. The recordings of the instrument that I made were explored through a wide range of sound transformations and techniques: micro-montage and granulation, specialized audio processing plug-ins, and techniques of scrubbing and skipping of audio. Various forms of rhythm, pulse, and melody emerged and were further developed to thread through more abstract textures of noise, drone, and sonic impacts. I completed the majority of the work in my home studio, with the mix finalized in the electroacoustic studios at the University of Manchester.”
“During a masterclass in electroacoustic composition that I gave at the Conservatorio di Musica in Cuneo in April 2022, one of the attending students, Marta Zigante, drew an incredible artistic response to the work upon hearing me play and discuss it. I believe this captured some of the character and essence of the work’s sonic forms and landscape.”
Edmonton-born and Calgary-raised David Berezan started writing and performing music in the late 1980s and eventually found himself drawn to electroacoustic, and in particular, acousmatic music. He moved to the UK in 2000 to study a PhD under the supervision of Jonty Harrison at the University of Birmingham, where he also became a member of BEAST (Birmingham ElectroAcoustic Sound Theatre) and gained experience with sound diffusion performance practice. In 2003 he joined the Music Department at the University of Manchester where he is now Professor of Electroacoustic Music and Director of the Electroacoustic Music Studios and MANTIS (Manchester Theatre in Sound).
His work has been awarded prizes at competitions and festivals including Klang! (France), Music Viva (Portugal), Bourges (France), Luigi Russolo (Italy), Radio Magyar (Hungary), São Paulo (Brazil), L’espace du son (Belgium) and Jeu de temps / Times Play (Canada). He has worked in residence in the studios of the University of Calgary, Université de Montréal, Mexican Center for Music and Sonic Arts, Elektronmusikstudion (Sweden), Visby International Center for Composers (Sweden), Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity, Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Groupe de recherches musicales (France), Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (France), Electronic Studio of the Academy of Music Basel, and Tamagawa University (Japan). His work is published by Empreintes digitales.