If (and only if) I am among
- James O’Callaghan
- Year of composition: 2017
- Duration: 9:01
- Instrumentation: 4-channel fixed medium (with additional sound diffusion: distant, and above the public)
If (and only if) I am among is an acousmatic re-imagining of two of my pieces for instruments and electronics: If:Iff (2014) and Among Am A (2015). When developing such works, I create extensive electroacoustic materials that are sometimes never heard in a performance of the final work, and so transporting these artefacts of the compositional process into a new work can breathe new life into them. Besides these materials, I also took recordings of the premieres of the instrumental pieces — by the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble and Ensemble Paramirabo, respectively — as source material.
I chose to link these two works together because they examine related ideas that gain new meaning in an acousmatic context. If:Iff examines the idea of cause and effect through a severing of performance gesture and resultant sound, as well as a sonic image of glass shattering and ‘unshattering’, as if scrubbing backward in time. Among Am A examines the experience of concert listening and a breakdown of the division between ‘musical’ and ‘non-musical’ sounds, gestures, and spaces.
The acousmatic context natively severs gesture and sound, offering another vantage point for these ideas from which one’s imagination may become more active.
- September 28, 2017, Électrochoc 2017-18: Électrochoc 1: James O’Callaghan, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire de musique de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)
- 2nd prize, Fixed medium, 11th Destellos Competition 2018, Mar del Plata (Argentina)
- Honorable Mention, Fixed medium, MA/IN 2018, Matera (Italy)
- 2nd prize, SIME 2018, Lille (Nord, France)
- Mention, 10th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition Métamorphoses 2018, Ohain (Belgium)
- Honorable Mention, Iannis Xenakis International Electroacoustic Composition Competition 2019, Greece
- Prize, Ars Electronica Forum Wallis 2020, Leuk (Switzerland)
Various artistsMusiques & Recherches / MR 2018 / 2019