Works Serendipities and Synchronicities Pete Stollery

Serendipities and Synchronicities

  • Pete Stollery
  • Year of composition: 2004
  • Duration: 5:48
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Reeling & Writhing Theatre Company
  • ISWC: T0104153550

Serendipities and Synchronicities was composed as part of the theatrical production Standing Wave which told the extraordinary story of Delia Derbyshire — the ground breaking electronic music composer and member of the legendary BBC Radiophonic workshop who was most famously responsible for the theme music for the television programme Dr Who, although at the time she didn’t receive any credit for it. The title refers to the way Delia described her compositional methods. When I came across this phrase, it immediately struck a resonance with me concerning the way I work with technology as a composer. Studio composition for me is always a mixture of pre-determined plans and accumulation of material “happened-upon” along the way.

I wanted to create something which derived from Delia’s work in the 1960s. One of the things I remember about Dr Who as a child was not so much the theme tune itself, but the visuals which went with it — made up from video feedback. Twenty years ago, working with analogue resources, I created a vast amount of material generated from feedback loops (achieved by plugging the outputs of sound processors back into their inputs) and much of the material in this piece comes from those feedback loops. Some of these loops were reminiscent of Delia’s music, particularly layered pieces such as The Delian Mode.

Other influences from Delia Derbyshire include a reliance on repetition with subtle timbral changes, the use of arpeggiated figures here and there, and a middle section created entirely from the isolated scratches and crackles from one of Delia’s vinyl recordings… and hidden in there somewhere might be Dr Who’s TARDIS landing and the sound made by his sonic screwdriver.

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Serendipities and Synchronicities was realized in 2004 and premiered on October 7, 2004 as part of the theatrical production Standing Wave at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow (Scotland, UK). The piece was commissioned by the Reeling & Writhing Theatre Company (Glasgow, Scotland, UK).


Premiere

  • October 7, 2004, Standing Wave, Tron Theatre, Glasgow (Scotland, UK)

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