- Year of composition: 2014-15
- Duration: 15:16
- Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium (Klangdom)
- Commission: SeaM
- 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
- 48 kHz, 24 bits
Collembola (springtails) are small arthropods; some of them as small as pixels. They travel from the kitchen to the jungle using spatial and temporal ‘windows’. This work explores the notion of the ‘parasite’ in music through the use of granular synthesis, glitch, micro-montage and abrupt aleatoric cuts. The piece establishes a continuity between gesture-framing (“individuals are subsumed in collective activity” and texture-setting (“texture provides a basic framework within which individual gestures act”) from Denis Smalley’s spectromorphological approach. In this piece, these two types of structure are connected to two different types of spatialization: immersive effects (the creation of swarms using virtual sources) and polyphonic effects using real sources (each speaker is considered as individual). The 16-channel system also serves to create an aural version of The Alice Illusion; a ‘body swap’ experiment where scientists manage to convince people that they are the size of dolls or giants [Björn van der Hoort, Arvid Guterstam, and Henrik Ehrsson. “Being Barbie: The Size of One’s Own Body Determines the Perceived Size of the World», Plos One, 6(5), 2011.]. Inspired by this experiment, I sought to alter the scale of familiar environments and bring about in the listener the sensation of changing size — to the point of becoming as small as a springtail!
This piece is part of Nano-Cosmos, a cycle of acousmatic pieces dedicated to insects, small arthropods and microorganisms.
[English translation: Stephanie Moore, iii-18]
Pixel Springtail Promenade was realized in 16 channels at the Studio Hexa of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal (Québec) in 2014-15 and was premiered on May 12, 2015 in the context of The Engine Room 2015: International Sound Art Competition and Exhibition at the Engine Room of Morley College in London (UK). It was commissioned by the Studio für elektroakustische Musik (SeaM) in Weimar (Germany).
- May 11, 2015, The Engine Room 2015 — Private View, The Engine Room — Morley Gallery — Morley College London, London (England, UK)
This version is a stereophonic reduction of the 16-channel original realized in December 2017.