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Track listing detail

Penmon Point

Andrew Lewis

  • Year of composition: 2002-03
  • Duration: 15:26
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T0100741921

Stereo

ISRC CAD500722630

  • MP3, 320 kbps
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722500

To Maurice Lock

“A cold, clear Advent day. In the distance, snow-capped mountains appear still and at peace, yet close by the sea relentlessly pounds the Point on three sides. The steep pebble beach is dragged and drawn by waves that crackle and seethe with the mass of moving stone, while frozen pools on the shore splinter and craze in joyful counterpoint. Half a mile distant an island rises up, almost touchable — Seiriol’s Island, home of the hermit, now lifeless yet still echoing with ancient worship. Even the lighthouse, beacon of guidance, tolls in ceaseless praise, as if to continue the songs of men who now sing before God.” (Penmon Point, Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, December 2001)

Penmon Point is a place of extraordinary sights and sounds. This piece draws together its three main sonic elements.

Musica Mundana: The ceramic, roaring scintillation of the waves lifting and perturbing the steep banks of huge pebbles at Penmon is one of its most characteristic sounds. Together with this, the splintering of ice, the cries of birds and the acoustic ambience of the location provide Penmon Point’s natural voice.

Musica Humana: Seiriol’s monastic settlements, founded in the 6th century, are long deserted, but the nearby Priory Church continues his tradition. A 7th century plainchant hymn Conditor Alme Siderum (Creator of the Starry Skies), in various guises and transformations, is the human voice of Penmon Point.

Musica Instrumentalis: The lighthouse, both visually and sonically, is a strikingly artificial presence in an otherwise untamed environment. The tolling of the lighthouse bell every thirty seconds similarly suggests the order and conceit typical of instrumental or ‘machine’ music. Thus this bell provides the overall structural organisation of the piece, both horizontally (it sounds every thirty seconds in the music itself) and vertically (its first eight partials form the pitch structure of the entire work).

All three musics are linked by their periodicity, the ebb and flow of the waves, rise and fall of the voices, and regular tolling of the bell creating a variety of rhythmic interactions.

[xi-07]


Penmon Point was realized in the winter 2002-03 at the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University (Wales, UK) and premiered on March 22, 2003 during the Electric Spring Festival in Huddersfield (UK). It was awarded First prize at the 5th Concurso Internacional de Música Eletroacústica de São Paulo (CIMESP ’03, Brazil). Penmon Point was recorded on the compact disc Música Maximalista / Maximal Music 10: V CIMESP 2003 in 2004.

Premiere

  • March 22, 2003, Andrew Lewis, diffusion • Electric Spring 2003: The Welsh Connection, St Paul’s Hall — University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield (England, UK)

Awards

Composition

Mastering

Llanddwyn Skies

Andrew Lewis

  • Year of composition: 2003
  • Duration: 14:49
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T0115501013

Stereo

ISRC CAD500722640

  • MP3, 320 kbps
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722510

To Christian Calon

“Spring equinox: day and night in perfect symmetry. Dawn: sun and moon share the sky, suspended at opposite ends of the unseen balance, each a mirror of the other: the struggling sun pale as moonlight, the moon lit red with sun’s fire. The sea too is a mirror, a still and polished mist, air and water indistinguishable, while beyond Llanddwyn Island there is no horizon, so that the land itself seems projected into empty space, as if joining in the cosmic dance. In the forest, the birds offer their extravagances heavenwards, while high above them heaven’s distant replies are the songs of the metal birds, whose spectral sighs set the air in motion above a motionless sea. The moon sinks — this will be the sun’s day.” (Newborough/Llanddwyn, Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, April 2003)

Llanddwyn Skies is based mainly on recordings made at the time of an unseasonably warm spring equinox in 2003, and tries to capture the solitude and stillness of dawn in Newborough Forest and on nearby Llanddwyn Island. There was a sense at the time that the wonderful tranquillity and peace of the moment was a result of many forces held in perfect balance: day/night, sun/moon, sea/sky, birds/planes: much of the material is of birdsong and other sounds in the forest which borders the seashore at Newborough, and since the constant presence of jets overhead was not only inescapable, but also highly characteristic of the place, it seemed natural that they became a part of the material of the piece. The sea sounds were all recorded on Llanddwyn Island.

[xi-07]


Llanddwyn Skies was realized in the spring and early summer 2003 at the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University (Wales, UK) and premiered on October 30, 2003 in Powis Hall, Bangor University (Wales, UK). It was also presented on February 13, 2004 during the Rien à voir (15) concert series presented by Réseaux at Espace GO in Montréal.

Premiere

  • October 30, 2003, Concert, Powis Hall — Bangor University, Bangor (Wales, UK)

Composition

Mastering

Benllech Shells

Andrew Lewis

  • Year of composition: 2003
  • Duration: 8:33
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T0115501024

Stereo

ISRC CAD500722650

  • MP3, 320 kbps
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722520

To Esme

“High summer, a crowded, baking beach. Noise, movement, ice cream, diesel. Children and adults alike are drawn to the foaming shore, melodious squeals and cries bobbing up momentarily through the noise of the surf. Away from the water families stake their claim with colourful fortifications: parents bask and sweat, little ones search the sand. ‘I’ve found a shell…’ The child’s eyes and ears collect her future memories. ‘We could save this shell…’” (Benllech, Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, July and August 2003)

Putting a shell to our ear to see if we can ‘hear the sea’ is perhaps the earliest experience any of us has of transforming sound artificially, creating a wholly fictitious but nevertheless magical aural impression of the sea. Benllech Shells employs computer technology to much the same end, lending an extraordinary aspect to ordinary and familiar sounds (those of a crowded beach in high summer). It also tries to draw some parallels with the way that memory transforms childhood events — in this case the sights and sounds of the seaside — to create an often fictitious but nevertheless magical impression of the past.

[xi-07]


Benllech Shells was realized in the summer 2003 at the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University (Wales, UK); the 5.1 version was realized in 2007 in the same studios. Benllech Shells premiered on October 30, 2003 in Powis Hall, Bangor University (Wales, UK).

Premiere

  • October 30, 2003, Concert, Powis Hall — Bangor University, Bangor (Wales, UK)

Composition

Remixing

Mastering

Cable Bay

Andrew Lewis

  • Year of composition: 1998-99
  • Duration: 10:04
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: IMEB
  • ISWC: T0100740780

Stereo

ISRC CAD500722660

  • MP3, 320 kbps
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722530

To Francis Dhomont

“A very still late-summer evening. Lengthening shadows from the high ground at either side of the bay dapple the rock pools and swirling inlets, so that whatever is not bathed in sunset colours is retreating into gloom. A couple sit at one end of the beach; a small child plays ecstatically in the fading light. Among the rocks and boulders the sea’s music is at once both rhythmic and chaotic, sonorous and exuberant, while over the whole scene the spectral sun broods with intensifying lustre, sinking to touch the waves, and to be extinguished by them.” (Cable Bay, Isle of Anglesey, North Wales, September 1998)

This was the setting in which the original sea recordings for Cable Bay were made, and although it was always intended to be something of a portrait of the place, I found that during work on the piece my approach to the recorded sounds was much more heavily influenced by my memories of that evening than I had expected; so much so that the visual and ‘atmospheric’ impressions formed while making the recordings became for me inseparable from the sonic character of the recorded material itself. The result is music of a particularly vivid spectral luminescence which revels in the ever-changing colours and forms of that North Wales seascape.

[xi-07]


Cable Bay was realized in April 1999 in the studios of the Institut international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (IMEB, France), with preparatory work undertaken in 1998 in the studios of Bangor University (Wales, UK) and premiered on May 29, 1999 as part of Synthèse, the Festival international de musique électroacoustique de Bourges (France). The piece was commissioned by the IMEB. Cable Bay was awarded First Prize at the Concurso Internacional ART’S XXI (Valencia, Spain, 2001).

Premiere

  • May 29, 1999, Synthèse 1999: Concert, Bourges (Cher, France)

Preparation

Composition

Mastering

Danses acousmatiques

Andrew Lewis

  • Year of composition: 2007
  • Duration: 35:45
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9009671083

Stereo

  • MP3, 320 kbps

The impetus behind Danses acousmatiques was the sense that while in theory space is a fundamental aspect of acousmatic music, in practice most acousmatic music uses spatialization in a relatively generalised way, in something of the manner of an ‘effect.’ Since acousmatic music is, above all, about exploring the inner nature of sound in a very detailed and intentional way, it seemed odd that spatial aspects have not always received the same level of careful attention. Even in music which claims to use space as part of its consciously composed fabric (Boulez’s Répons springs to mind) the question arises as to whether such complex and detailed spatial operations can actually be ‘perceived’ by the listener.

In response to this state of affairs, Danses acousmatiques represents a quest for the creative, musically significant and ‘perceptible’ use of the spatial aspect of acousmatic music. The work is cast in the form of a suite, with nine movements comprising three interlocking series each of which draws on a different model of spatial movement, on a scale stretching from the atomic to the cosmic:

  1. Series 1 — movements Vacuum (la scène vide), Torquetum (pas de cinq), and Nebulum: the cosmos — stars, planets, the music of the spheres;
  2. Series 2 — movements Shoal, Flock (pas d’action), and Swarm: the natural world, especially emergent flocking behaviours;
  3. Series 3 — movements Danse des coups (solo), Danse atomique (pas de deux), and Danse des gestes (pas de trois)): the human world — dance and choreographic movement.

The individual series may be performed as discrete three-movement studies. Alternatively, individual movements might be performed as part of a larger program.

[xi-07]


Danses acousmatiques was realized in the spring and summer 2007 at the Electroacoustic Music Studios of Bangor University (Wales, UK) and premiered on October 25, 2007 at SARC in Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK). Thanks to dobroide for the pigeon and bee samples.

Premiere

  • October 25, 2007, Concert, Sonic Arts Research Centre — Queen’s University, Belfast (Northern Ireland, UK)

Composition

Danses acousmatiques, 1: Vacuum (la scène vide)

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 2:29
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247690193

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722540

This movement sets the scene, and establishes the boundaries of (infinite) space in which the following spatial dramas will unfold.

Danses acousmatiques, 2: Danse des coups (solo)

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 4:48
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247690160

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722550

A single sonic identity is presented in more or less unchanging form. The musical focus is almost completely on its location and movement in space.

Danses acousmatiques, 3: Shoal

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 3:37
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247690159

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722560

A flocking algorithm is used to elicit autonomous emergent behaviours from sound objects based on water.

Danses acousmatiques, 4: Torquetum (pas de cinq)

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 2:55
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247690126

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722570

Five bodies of various masses move periodically within a limitless void.

Danses acousmatiques, 5: Danse atomique (pas de deux)

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 5:03
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247690091

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722580

Particles in motion, of two persuasions: one pitched, high and lyrical, the other noisy, low and percussive. In life, as in the bomb, the whole may be almost infinitely more than the sum of the parts.

Danses acousmatiques, 6: Flock (pas d’action)

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 3:56
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247690080

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722590

The irrepressible energy of flight is contained within a scenario in which not much happens (unless one listens closely).

Danses acousmatiques, 7: Swarm

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 3:17
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247707308

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722600

For some, space is a language, and dance a means to an end.

Danses acousmatiques, 8: Nebulum

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 3:03
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247690057

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722610

Nebulum was a supposed ‘new element’ discovered in the Cat’s Eye Nebula. But nebulae are rare creatures in which the atoms, dancing as they are in the fiercest vacuum imaginable, behave quite differently from those on earth. The spectral lines that deceived the astronomers became known as ‘forbidden lines’ — and with good reason.

Danses acousmatiques, 9: Danse des gestes (pas de trois)

Andrew Lewis

  • Duration: 6:21
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T9247690024

Surround 5.1

ISRC CAD500722620

When contrasting and even incompatible elements come together to dance, it is worth remembering that a cord of three strands is not quickly broken.