Filaments and Phases

John Young / Simon Perril

Filaments and Phases

  • John Young / Simon Perril
  • Year of composition: 2022-23
  • Duration: 11:36
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Filaments and Phases is a setting of a section of Leicester-based poet Simon Perril’s Sun Deck Set Cogitation. Perril’s poem is derived from two texts by anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss — a description of a sunset written in 1935 while en route from Marseille to Brazil and another written on the 1941 voyage by which means he escaped occupied France. Through a process of textual erasure Perril created the poem by selective scanning of the contents of Lévi-Strauss’s text. Taking impetus from Lévi-Strauss’s observation of the intricacy of dandelion seed heads Perril’s treatment renders the source texts as scattered and recombined word-seeds forming surprising new combinations. In Filaments and Phases Perril’s recorded reading of the first section — Deck One — from Sun Deck Set Cogitation is subject to a similar treatment in ‘concrete’ sonic form, perforated and reconstructed within an immersive framework of digitally synthesised and processed sound materials. Much of the work’s content, and the underlying structural design, is derived from a 90-minute 8-channel audiovisual installation — also titled Sun Deck Set Cogitation — created by Young and Perril for the Phoenix Cinema and Art Centre in Leicester (UK) and presented there on March 1-3, 2023.


Filaments and Phases was realized in 2022-23 in the Music, Technology and Innovation Research Laboratory at De Montfort University (Leicester, UK), and premiered on June 3, 2023, during the Electroacoustic Spring 2023 festival in Rethymno (Crete, Greece).


  • June 3, 2023, Electroacoustic Spring 2023: Concert B, Music Technology and Acoustics — Hellenic Mediterranean University – Auditorium, Rethymno (Greece)