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Track listing detail

Back to Square One

Pete Stollery

  • Year of composition: 2007
  • Duration: 10:17
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: IMEB
  • ISWC: T9027914392

Stereo

ISRC CAD501110131

  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits

I have always been interested in radio sports commentaries and the differences between them and their television counterparts, particularly how the radio commentator is required to provide visual clues for the listener. I’ve also always been struck by the apparent musicality of sports commentaries, particularly horse racing and track athletics with the gradual rise in pitch and intensity and the subsequent fall back to rest position, but also other sporting events with their frequent changes in intensity and the commentator’s reaction to what’s going on. I wanted to make a piece that would reflect these two aspects and, using recordings of commentaries from sporting events from 2007 (Grand National — horse racing, England vs India — cricket, US Open — tennis, France vs Argentina — rugby), I was able to use the shape and frequency of events to create a structure for the piece. These sounds (unrecognisable from the original recordings) are interwoven with sounds made by a crowd in a Parisian bar in 2006 when France beat Brazil to get to the finals of the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

The title is a nod to the urban myth that in early radio football commentaries, a numbered grid representing the pitch was provided for listeners with a second commentator calling out the number on the grid where the ball was situated.

[v-11]


Back to Square One was realized in April and September 2007 at the Studio Circé of IMEB in Bourges (France) and premiered on November 1, 2007 at the Mitchell Hall, University of Aberdeen (Scotland, UK) during the Sound Festival. The piece was commissioned by IMEB.

Premiere

  • November 1, 2007, Sound Festival 2007: Concert, Mitchell Hall — University of Aberdeen, Aberdeen (Scotland, UK)

Composition

Serendipities and Synchronicities

Pete Stollery

  • Year of composition: 2004
  • Duration: 5:48
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Reeling & Writhing Theatre Company
  • ISWC: T0104153550

Stereo

ISRC CAD501110132

  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits

Serendipities and Synchronicities was composed as part of the theatrical production Standing Wave which told the extraordinary story of Delia Derbyshire — the ground breaking electronic music composer and member of the legendary BBC Radiophonic workshop who was most famously responsible for the theme music for the television programme Dr Who, although at the time she didn’t receive any credit for it. The title refers to the way Delia described her compositional methods. When I came across this phrase, it immediately struck a resonance with me concerning the way I work with technology as a composer. Studio composition for me is always a mixture of pre-determined plans and accumulation of material “happened-upon” along the way.

I wanted to create something which derived from Delia’s work in the 1960s. One of the things I remember about Dr Who as a child was not so much the theme tune itself, but the visuals which went with it — made up from video feedback. Twenty years ago, working with analogue resources, I created a vast amount of material generated from feedback loops (achieved by plugging the outputs of sound processors back into their inputs) and much of the material in this piece comes from those feedback loops. Some of these loops were reminiscent of Delia’s music, particularly layered pieces such as The Delian Mode.

Other influences from Delia Derbyshire include a reliance on repetition with subtle timbral changes, the use of arpeggiated figures here and there, and a middle section created entirely from the isolated scratches and crackles from one of Delia’s vinyl recordings… and hidden in there somewhere might be Dr Who’s TARDIS landing and the sound made by his sonic screwdriver.

[vi-11]


Serendipities and Synchronicities was realized in 2004 and premiered on October 7, 2004 as part of the theatrical production Standing Wave at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow (Scotland, UK). The piece was commissioned by the Reeling & Writhing Theatre Company (Glasgow, Scotland, UK).

Premiere

  • October 7, 2004, Standing Wave, Tron Theatre, Glasgow (Scotland, UK)

Composition

Still Voices

Pete Stollery

  • Year of composition: 2005
  • Duration: 6:22
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Gordon Forum for the Arts with support from Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council
  • ISWC: T0116323988

Stereo

ISRC CAD501110133

  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits

Still Voices, like Resound and Fields of Silence, is part of a larger project called Gordon Soundscape, which is a project mapping the sonic diversity of the former Gordon District in Aberdeenshire (Scotland, UK). The project comprises acousmatic / soundscape concert pieces Still Voices and Fields of Silence, an interactive website (www.gordonsoundscape.net) and a sound documentary / installation (Resound).

I am intrigued by the potential power that I have as a composer working with technology and fixed media to conserve sounds which will soon no longer exist. Workers at the Glendronach Distillery in North-East Scotland were told in 2004 that the plant was to move from a coal-fired manufacturing process to a more ecological method of heating. They began to realise that the sounds they had become used to as part of their daily work — kiln doors opening and closing, raking out the kilns, coal pouring from the back of delivery lorries — were soon to disappear from their working environment.

Originally, I had intended to make a few recordings of these “disappearing sounds” and use them in the sound documentary / installation part of the project. However, it became clear to me, during the visits I made to the distillery, that there were many more interesting sounds which were crying out to be used and so I decided to make an entire piece using sounds recorded from both inside and outside of the distillery, including the rolling of whisky barrels along the ground, grain milling machines and the Glendronach Burn which runs through the distillery grounds.

[v-11]


Still Voices was realized in 2005 and premiered on November 8, 2005 during the 34th concert of the Discoveries series in one of the auction rings at the Thainstone Centre (Inverurie, Scotland, UK). The piece was commissioned by Gordon Forum for the Arts, with support from Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council.

Premiere

  • November 8, 2005, Discoveries Series: Concert 34, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie (Scotland, UK)

Awards

Composition

Resound

Pete Stollery

  • Year of composition: 2005
  • Duration: 16:51
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Gordon Forum for the Arts with support from Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council
  • ISWC: T0116365322

Stereo

ISRC CAD501110134

  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits

With Resound, like the rest of the Gordon Soundscape project, I am trying to create an environment which examines a number of issues; our response to our aural environment, our sense of belonging to a particular place and our ability to remember through sound. Whilst making field recordings for the Gordon Soundscape I also interviewed a number of people talking about sound, particularly sound events that no longer exist. I found that people became quite animated when talking about these events, even trying hard to recreate the sounds and describe them using onomatopoeia. In Resound I have taken portions of these interviews — with John Alexander, Lorna Alexander, Melvyn Dalgarno, Bertha Forbes, Charlie Leslie, and James Mackay — and situated them within a montage of the field recordings — so, for example, we get an audio memory of a threshing machine accompanied by the more contemporary sound of an approaching combine harvester.

[v-11]


Resound was realized in 2005 and premiered on November 8, 2005 during the 34th concert of the Discoveries series in one of the auction rings at the Thainstone Centre (Inverurie, Scotland, UK). The piece was commissioned by Gordon Forum for the Arts, with support from Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council.

Premiere

  • November 8, 2005, Discoveries Series: Concert 34, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie (Scotland, UK)

Composition

Fields of Silence

Pete Stollery

  • Year of composition: 2005
  • Duration: 8:55
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • Commission: Gordon Forum for the Arts with support from Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council
  • ISWC: T0116323999

Stereo

ISRC CAD501110135

  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits

I’ve always thought that once they have been harvested, fields fall silent. They don’t make a great deal of sound when they’re full of crops, admittedly, but, as a child, seeing fields ready to be harvested always suggested a particular sound in my mind. In this piece I use sounds recorded in fields before harvesting and also sounds made from what is left afterwards, particularly plucking the short lengths of stubble, some of which produce sounds with a perceptible pitch quality.

As well as this, there is a second concept of a field… that of a previously empty space which is defined by the sounds that are put in it. There are many such fields in this piece and the opening is a good example — a recording of the ambience prior to an auction gradually fills the listener space — particularly effective in the first performance when the piece was performed in the same space where the recording was made.

[v-11]


Fields of Silence was realized in 2005 and premiered on November 8, 2005 during the 34th concert of the Discoveries series in one of the auction rings at the Thainstone Centre (Inverurie, Scotland, UK). The piece was commissioned by Gordon Forum for the Arts, with support from Aberdeenshire Council and the Scottish Arts Council.

Premiere

  • November 8, 2005, Discoveries Series: Concert 34, Thainstone Centre, Inverurie (Scotland, UK)

Composition

scènes, rendez-vous

Pete Stollery

  • Year of composition: 2006
  • Duration: 18:11
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium
  • Publisher(s): Ymx média
  • ISWC: T0116324005

Stereo

ISRC CAD501110136

  • 44,1 kHz, 24 bits

To my father

When I was young, I remember my father telling me about a film which consisted of a sports car driving at incredibly high speeds through Paris at dawn, from the Boulevard Périphérique all the way to the Baslique Sacré-Cœur in around 9 minutes. The film was shot from the front of the car and the soundtrack was the sound of the car’s engine. The film was C’était un rendez-vous shot by Claude Lelouch in 1976.

Much as I enjoyed the soundtrack, I would watch (as a tourist) all these famous Parisian landmarks flying past and wonder about the real soundscape of these places. One Sunday in June 2006 I walked the route which Lelouch’s car takes, recording sounds in various places along the way — some are general soundscapes which reflect the different acoustic properties of the spaces they were recorded in, some are particular sounds (cars running over drain covers, ambulance, street musicians).

I took various ‘restrictions’ from Lelouch’s film:

  • Lelouch had only 10 minutes of film in his camera; I limited myself to 1 hour of recording time
  • Lelouch’s film was one take only; I would use only sounds from the single sound walk
  • Risk — Lelouch had no idea what would be in his way; I had no idea what sounds I would come across.

The piece consists of six ‘scènes’ which are field recordings of particular places on the route. These are interspersed with five acousmatic ‘episodes’ which use material derived from the adjacent scenes.

[v-11]


scènes, rendez-vous was realized in June 2006 at Studio 116A of the Groupe de recherches musicales (Ina-GRM) in Paris (France) and premiered on October 28, 2006 during the Soundings… festival in the Reid Concert Hall (Edinburgh, Scotland, UK).

Premiere

  • October 28, 2006, Soundings… 2006: Concert, Reid Concert Hall — Edinburgh College of Art — The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh (Scotland, UK)

Composition