- Year of composition: 2016
- Duration: 12:41
- Instrumentation: 7.1-channel fixed medium
Inside and out… again is a concert work stemming from the How Many Sounds project. This project set about investigating the use of multichannel audio to manage musical complexity through the creation of plausible environments. As I began to create more intricate sonic environments I noticed that increased complexity often led to the sensation of one environment, one that could be ‘explored’ — a polyphony of sources coalescing to form a monophony of environment. Whilst works like The Battle and Counterattack led to questions, Inside and out… again began to stretch the limits (whilst necessarily being musically coherent).
Inside and out… again draws heavily upon Bernard Parmegiani’s Dedans-dehors and the metaphor of inside / outside, within / without, unreal (unknown, interior), real (known, exterior). I began with environmental sounds; typical recordings that have we have heard before. There are some passing cars (metaphor for moving on), recording from my back garden. These sounds proved to be the most profitable. Microphones set in my gooseberry bush 50cm from my bird feeders captured flight sounds and this fluttering of wings is a key sound throughout. Also, we have bees (so it’s a birds and the bees piece), buzzing around the microphone and as a consequence the bees were brought into the studio via a pyrex bowl with microphones stuck in holes made in a sheet of A3 paper. Finally we have water, both outside at Creswell Crags and inside — water draining from my sink (another inside-outside metaphor).
And we have transformations: the buzz of bees becomes a drone; their angular flight becomes exaggerated spatialisation. The birds in flight become an exaggerated sweep that drives momentum; a single flutter gets mechanised. Real and virtual environments with reverberation become anecdotes or reminiscences. The bees grow to a swarm that literally shakes the room. Pitch is used to bind sections together. Repetition of material is used to solidify structure.
By taking us from real to unreal within a virtual environment, both are allowed to exist at the same time. It is this construction of environment that continues to fascinate me.
Inside and out… again was a finalist at the 9th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition Métamorphoses (Brussels, Belgium, 2016).
- May 28, 2016, Música Viva 2016: Encontro X: Orquestra de Altifalantes, O’culto da Ajuda, Lisbon (Portugal)