Works Vortex Denis Smalley


  • Denis Smalley
  • Year of composition: 1982
  • Duration: 15:42
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Electronic Music Now with support from the Arts Council of Great Britain

The title demonstrates a concern with movement, not necessarily literal spatial movement, but sound objects, textures, contours, and particles whose shapes and behaviour suggest analogies with movement both real and imaginary. Such relationships can be striking in taped electroacoustic music where the listener may often perceive sounds as physical entities moving in space - a kind of invisible kinetic sculpture. large, rich, resonant attacking sound events provide the structural pillars of Vortex. Their impact and radiating energy signal climaxes, initiate changes of direction, and propel the music forwards.

Vortex was composed using the facilities at three locations: the Structured Sounds Synthesis Project attached to the Computer Systems Research group at the University of Toronto, the Finnish Radio Experimental Studio, and the Electroacoustic Music Studio of the University of East Anglia, England.

Vortex was commissioned by Tim Souster with funds from the Arts Council of Great Britain, and first performed on the Arts Council Contemporary Music Network tour undertaken by Electronic Music Now in 1983. In the same year it won joint first prize in the analogue section of the Bourges Electroacoustic Awards and was also awarded the Special Prize of the International Confederation of Electroacoustic Music.

[source: Réseaux des arts médiatiques]

Commissioned by Electronic Music Now for an Arts Council Contemporary Music Network tour, with funds provided by the Arts Council of Great Britain. First performance: The Roun House, London (UK). The work was awared 1st prize ex æquo at the 11th Bourges International Electroacoustic Music Competition 1983 (Bourges, France)


  • February 27, 1983, Concert, The Round House, London (England, UK)




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