- Year of composition: 2012
- Duration: 19:33
- Instrumentation: 5.1-channel fixed medium
- 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
- 44,1 kHz, 24 bits
Creative motivations: Wednesday, November 30, 2011 was the first day in my working life that I went on strike. I thought I was being hypocritical taking my recording equipment with me but with hindsight I experienced a sense of place, a feeling that I was personally doing the right thing, and an enormous sense of the support that those on strike were giving to their colleagues under pressure. I also captured elements of the primary sound source of this piece and in so doing continue to reflect upon the reasons why I was out that day.
The vast majority of this work was made during April 2012 at the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC), Gotland (Sweden) in their Studio Alpha (5.1). Being away for a month allowed me to work consistently and freely: I was able to take stock of a wide variety of materials and develop a number of spectral surround sound manipulations. I was also able to pay homage to composers whose music has influenced the way I work.
Secondary sources included stones and bricks (after Jonty Harrison and Alistair MacDonald), and ball bearings (after François Bayle’s majestic Tremblement de terre très doux) — and my thanks to simplybearings.co.uk for accepting the fact that I only needed to buy two of each size (ranging from .5 to 2 inches in diameter). For the ‘dissolve’ at the close of the piece, I am always reminded of Andrew Lewis’ Scherzo. Finally, thanks to the Groupe de recherches musicales (GRM) for producing some great new tools that helped me deliver some very unique (if easily identifiable) sound nebulae.
And it is these sound spaces that drive this work. Nebulae present us with the sense of the unknown, a sense of the future. There is a space there that is vast and distant and within the nebula a cloud of swirling dust and gas. Vast, but not a void. We can place ourselves inside this space and explore its very details.
Nebula Sequence was realized in 2012 at the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC, Sweden) and the composer’s studio in Sheffield (England, UK) and premiered on January 31, 2013 during a concert in the Drama Studio of The University of Sheffield (England, UK) as part of the festival From Tape to Typedef. The work was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Musica Nova 2015 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Prague, Czech Republic).
- January 31, 2013, From Tape to Typedef: Concert 4, Drama Studio — The University of Sheffield, Sheffield (England, UK)