electrocd

Track listing detail

Base Metals

Denis Smalley

  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration: 13:42
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Sveriges Radio Malmö
  • ISWC: T9247804133

Stereo

ISRC CAD500014240

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The title refers to the metal sounds that provided the central material for the piece, and it also evokes the creative process of transmuting these raw sources to a higher musical and expressive plane.

All the metal sources derive from sound sculptures created by the artist Derek Shiel from metal objects collected over a period of time. From the wide range of objects I selected those with the internal resonant properties that could provide me with variegated spectral families. Some possessed intervallic and tonal properties, others were inharmonic or noisier, and some sounded more synthetic than truly metallic. Although there are a number of orchestrated impacts and resonances in the piece, I was less interested in the clash of metal than in more sustained morphologies. Thus there is a focus on varied pushes, surges, swirls and sweeps of spectral energy, balanced with calmer drifts, undulations and dips, all of which move in and out of more clearly pulsed moments. These motions are also spatial so there are approaches, emergences, dispersals and distant disappearances, sometimes leaving behind the residues of spectral trails. The metal-based families, which are hardly ever absent, are brought into relations with a few other sound-types, and those who know my other pieces might spot the occasional refugee-sound from the past, recontextualized.

[ix-00]


Base Metals was realized in 2000 at the composer’s studio and premiered on October 15, 2000 during the 7th International Acousmatic Festival L’Espace du son (Brussels, Belgium). The piece was commissioned by Sveriges Radio Malmö — the Swedish radio in Malmö (Sweden). Thanks to Derek Shiel for making his sound sculptures available, and to Bosse Bergqvist for initiating the commission.

Premiere

  • October 15, 2000, L’Espace du son 2000: Concert, Chapelle de Boondael, Brussels (Belgium)

Composition

Empty Vessels

Denis Smalley

  • Year of composition: 1997
  • Duration: 14:51
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: French State (Music Office), Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T0101136020

Stereo

ISRC CAD500014250

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The empty vessels of the title are some large garden pots from Crete and an olive jar from Turkey. Recordings of the air resonating in these vessels provided the starting-point for the piece. Since the recordings were done in my garden in north London, sounds from the environment (rain, birds, planes flying overhead) were also captured by the microphones inside the pots, and changes in the timbre of these sounds resulted from interaction with the filtering effect of the resonant vessels. These ‘natural’ transformations were extended through computer treatments of the sources, and they also suggested relations with very different types of resonant sounds. The garden palette was expanded with recordings made in the same environment without the benefit of the vessels’ transformations. The piece may be regarded as a journey passing through highly charged and more restful events, textures and spaces inspired by the empty vessels.

[ix-00]


Empty Vessels was realized in 1997 and premiered on May 31, 1997 in the Salle Olivier Messiaen of the Maison de Radio France (Paris, France). The piece was commissioned by the French State (Music Office) and the Ina-GRM (Paris).

Premiere

  • May 31, 1997, Son-Mu 97: Concert, Salle Olivier Messiaen — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)

Composition

  • 1997, London (England, UK)

Tides

Denis Smalley

  • Year of composition: 1984
  • Duration: 30:17
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T9016778464

Stereo

ISRC CAD500014260

The sonic images of Tides are based on analogies between water and sound — motion, textures, images of turbulence, strength and tranquillity, the play of colors and light, and the intimacy and immensity of space. The first movement — Pools and Currents — is constructed around a series of interlocked ‘pools,’ each of which has a different character. The pool idea suggests textural play, while the idea of ‘currents’ stresses the more linear motion that propels the movement forward. The pools come to rest in a broad seascape out of which the wave-like gestures of the second movement, Sea Flight, emerge.

Tides is the first of my works to use computer transformations of source material.

[ix-00]


Tides was completed in 1984 and mixed at the University of East Anglia (Norwich, UK). Materials for the work were created during visits to a number of studios — the Computer Systems Research Institute (with its Structured Sound Synthesis Project (SSSP) system) of the University of Toronto (Canada), the Experimental Studio of Finnish Radio, and the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM) Digital Studio — Studio 123. The piece was commissioned by the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM) in Paris (France).

Premiere

  • April 30, 1984, Cycle acousmatique 1984: Concert, Grand Auditorium — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)

Awards

Preparation

Composition

Pentes

Denis Smalley

  • Year of composition: 1974
  • Duration: 12:51
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Ina-GRM
  • ISWC: T9247662631

Stereo

ISRC CAD500014280

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The title Pentes (both French and Latin, meaning slopes, inclines, ascents) was suggested by the outlines of the broad stretches of the piece, which evoke the spaciousness of landscape. Most of the music was created by transforming instrumental sounds, but there are also synthesized sounds. However, the only recognizable sound source is the Northumbrian Pipes, whose drone is responsible for the slowly evolving harmonies out of which its haunting traditional melody appears.

[ix-00]


Pentes was realized in 1974 in the studios of the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM) and premiered on March 20, 1975 in Auditorium 104 of the Maison de Radio France (Paris, France). The piece was commissioned by the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM).

Premiere

  • March 20, 1975, Cycle acousmatique 1975: Concert, Auditorium 104 — Maison de Radio France, Paris (France)

Composition