- Year of composition: 1994-95
- Duration: 13:12
- Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
Sieve is a ‘radiogenic’ work dealing with natural sounds and electronic manipulations of these sounds. The sieve is a process of separating material, information, sound and meaning according to need.
In listening to Sieve one builds a personal hierarchy of events which could be ‘musical.’ Often, sounds are not as we think they ought to be in that they exist in foreign soundscapes and are devoid of certain portions of the sound such as attack or decay.
If one forces listening at the wrong moment, the clarity of the listening experience changes and something ‘musical’ can sometimes be heard. For example, consider walking along the side of the road. Normally one would listen to cars when approaching an intersection and listen to the birds or the wind in the trees as one walks along the sidewalk. If this was reversed and we listened to the cars as we walked along the sidewalk and the birds at the intersection, our relationships to the environment would be changed, as our attempts to listen would be frustrated. (Not least by the likelihood of being run down!)
In Sieve, a huge amount of sonic data is thrown at the listener, who naturally is asked to make sense of it. For example: one is asked to compare interiors and exteriors by moving from a quiet living room to a town square. A morphology between the chimes of a small carriage clock and a church bell obscure the fact that this process is taking place. We are taken outside again later in the piece via a flushing toilet. Any metaphorical meanings suggested by the juxtaposition of sound events is just that: a suggestion.
Sieve was realized during the summer of 1994 in the personal studio of Elizabeth Parker at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop and premiered by BBC Radio 3 as part of the ‘Between the Ears’ series in 1994. Sieve was funded by the Barry Anderson Trust. Thanks to Elizabeth Parker. Sieve received 2nd Prize at the 4th Prix international Noroit-Léonce Petitot (Arras, France, 1995).
- 1994, Between the Ears, Radio 3 — BBC, UK