Diffusion Enhanced Network of Inspired Sounds (DENIS)
Denis Smalley… retiring…? That thought will have given many of the musicians in our field pause for thought. Denis has encouraged, challenged and inspired so many of those in the contemporary music community through his music, his writings and his fabulously acute musical sense. We know, of course, that composers never really retire, but we feel that someone with such a presence in electroacoustic music, and who continues to have such a far-reaching influence on the way it is made and understood, deserves a very heartfelt musical send-off from university teaching.
We — Jonty Harrison and John Young — contacted musicians around the world, all with a special connection to Denis, and asked them to send us a sound file of between 1 and 15 seconds long with the idea of weaving them into a short work that would express something of our appreciation of Denis Smalley’s talents. We asked that each participant provide a sound that for them has some connection with Denis — either because it ‘sounds like’ him, or a sound they might not have engaged with were it not for Denis’s music or theoretical writings, or because it reminds them of a shared place, occasion or musical moment. Duly, we found time in the University of Birmingham studios to make this work, and soon arrived at a conscious decision to form the piece out of the sounds more or less as we were given them, with a minimum of processing… save for the odd bit of editing, equalization and stretching. We regard this piece as a joint effort on a grand scale — and revel in the idea that this may be the first time that an audience of composers play to a single, honoured and, we hope, approving listener!
Diffusion Enhanced Network of Inspired Sounds (DENIS) was composed in 2009 by Jonty Harrison and John Young from contributions by 62 electroacoustic composers to mark Denis Smalley’s retirement from City University London (England, UK). Thanks to all those who made contributions to this piece, namely: Mathew Adkins, Javier Alvarez, Martin Stig Andersen, Elizabeth Anderson, Newton Armstrong, Natasha Barrett, Daniel Barreiro, François Bayle, Rodolfo Caesar, Lelio Camilleri, Michael Casey, Michael Clarke, John Dack, Robert Dow, Francis Dhomont, Simon Emmerson, Ambrose Field, Rajmil Fischman, Mike Frengel, Pablo Garcia, Thomas Gardner, Guy Harries, Jonty Harrison, Jonathan Harvey, Folkmar Hein, Bennett Hogg, Hiromi Ishii, Volkmar Klien, Leigh Landy, Andrew Lewis, Igor Lintz-Maues, Theodoris Lotis, Alistair Macdonald, Adrian Moore, Steve Montague, Peter Nelson, Robert Normandeau, Michael Norris, Erik Nyström, Aki Pasoulas, Aquiles Pantaleao, Laurie Radford, Jean-Claude Risset, John Rimmer, Paul Rudy, Rodrigo Sigal, Adam Stansbie, Pete Stollery, Ambrose Seddon, Jo Thomas, Barry Truax, HansTutschku, Rodrigo Velloso, Annette Vande Gorne, Mike Vaughan, Alejandro Viñao, Martin Vishnick, Simon Waters, Chih Hung Weng, Trevor Wishart, Rob Worby, John Young.
- October 13, 2009, Concert, City University London, London (England, UK)