Nano-Cosmos (CD) Track Listing Detail

Akheta’s Blues

Ana Dall’Ara-Majek

  • Year of composition: 2012, 13
  • Duration: 9:14
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium (Klangdom)

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

The title of this piece refers to the cyclical and repetitive song of the Acheta domesticus, better-known as the house cricket. Its song served as a model for the construction of the piece. Akheta’s Blues is one of my most tonal acousmatic pieces. I deliberately searched for precise harmonic relationships between its sonic layers and used characteristic melodies as leitmotifs. The spatial arrangement of its sounds reflects the layout of desks in an orchestra, where each sound family has its own distinctive location. Finally, the piece explores a whole world of particles inside of renewing minimalist gestures.

This piece is part of Nano-Cosmos, a cycle of acousmatic pieces dedicated to insects, small arthropods and microorganisms.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, iii-18]


Akheta’s Blues was realized in 8 channels in 2012, then revised into a 16-channel version in 2013 at the Studio Hexa of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal (Québec). It was premiered on September 24, 2012 at the Électro buzzzzzzz festival in the Salle Claude-Champagne of the Université de Montréal. The 16-channel version was premiered on August 29, 2013 at a concert produced by Distractfold at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester (UK).


Premiere

  • September 24, 2012, Premiere of the 8-channel version (2012): Électro buzzzzzzz, Salle Claude-Champagne — Université de Montréal, Montréal (Québec)
  • August 29, 2013, Premiere of the 16-channel version: DF #11, International Anthony Burgess Foundation — Engine House, Manchester (England, UK)

About this Recording

This version is a stereophonic reduction of the 16-track original realized in December 2017.

Diaphanous Acarina

Ana Dall’Ara-Majek

  • Year of composition: 2015
  • Duration: 7:00
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Distractfold Ensemble

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

An observation of the world of mites under a musical microscope as they evolve on flat surfaces. The Typhlodromus pyri are semi-transparent mites which live along the veins of vine leaves. These veins are represented sonically by long, homogenous drones and the mites are portrayed by composite objects derived from granular synthesis. The musical discourse evokes the behaviour of mites and their various methods of proliferation: swarms fluctuate between various types of invasive proliferation (in the form of aquatic textures) and destructive proliferation (distorted materials created by DC offset excess). Extreme dynamic contrasts call to mind the effect of zooming in and out with a microscope, with abrupt mechanical adjustments and characteristic focus drift. And every so often, when the field of vision is expanded, the distinctive voice of the Typhlodromus pyri can be heard.

This piece is part of Nano-Cosmos, a cycle of acousmatic pieces dedicated to insects, small arthropods and microorganisms.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, iii-18]


Diaphanous Acarina was realized in 2015 at the Blue Spider Studio in Montréal (Québec) and was premiered on March 20, 2015 in a concert produced by Distractfold at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester (UK). It was commissioned by the Distractfold Ensemble.


Premiere

  • March 20, 2015, DF #26, International Anthony Burgess Foundation — Engine House, Manchester (England, UK)

About this Recording

This version was remixed in December 2017.

Bacillus Chorus

Ana Dall’Ara-Majek

  • Year of composition: 2016
  • Duration: 6:35
  • Instrumentation: 4-channel fixed medium
  • Commission: Distractfold Ensemble

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

For this piece I was interested in bacteria — particularly their ability to multiply and modify their environment by working together. This led me to the idea of considering musical polyphony as a bacterial colonization in which sounds duplicate by binary fission processes, contaminate each other, form bacterial chains, and slowly alter the properties of the entire work.

This piece is part of Nano-Cosmos, a cycle of acousmatic pieces dedicated to insects, small arthropods and microorganisms.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, iii-18]


Bacillus Chorus was realized in 4 channels at the Blue Spider Studio in Montréal (Québec) in 2016 and was premiered on August 7, 2016 at the Internationale Ferienkurse für Neue Musik at Centralstation in Darmstadt (Germany). It was commissioned by the Distractfold Ensemble. Thank you to Christine Groult and Marco Marini for those wonderful days of improvisation on the RSF Kobol synthesizer in the electroacoustic studio at the Conservatoire de Pantin (France).


Premiere

  • August 7, 2016, International Summer Course for New Music: Distractfold, Centralstation – Halle, Darmstadt (Germany)

About this Recording

This version is a stereophonic reduction of the 4-track original realized in December 2017.

Pixel Springtail Promenade

Ana Dall’Ara-Majek

  • Year of composition: 2014-15
  • Duration: 15:16
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium (Klangdom)
  • Commission: SeaM

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits

Collembola (springtails) are small arthropods; some of them as small as pixels. They travel from the kitchen to the jungle using spatial and temporal ‘windows’. This work explores the notion of the ‘parasite’ in music through the use of granular synthesis, glitch, micro-montage and abrupt aleatoric cuts. The piece establishes a continuity between gesture-framing (“individuals are subsumed in collective activity” and texture-setting (“texture provides a basic framework within which individual gestures act”) from Denis Smalley’s spectromorphological approach. In this piece, these two types of structure are connected to two different types of spatialization: immersive effects (the creation of swarms using virtual sources) and polyphonic effects using real sources (each speaker is considered as individual). The 16-channel system also serves to create an aural version of The Alice Illusion; a ‘body swap’ experiment where scientists manage to convince people that they are the size of dolls or giants [Björn van der Hoort, Arvid Guterstam, and Henrik Ehrsson. “Being Barbie: The Size of One’s Own Body Determines the Perceived Size of the World», Plos One, 6(5), 2011.]. Inspired by this experiment, I sought to alter the scale of familiar environments and bring about in the listener the sensation of changing size — to the point of becoming as small as a springtail!

This piece is part of Nano-Cosmos, a cycle of acousmatic pieces dedicated to insects, small arthropods and microorganisms.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, iii-18]


Pixel Springtail Promenade was realized in 16 channels at the Studio Hexa of the Faculty of Music of the Université de Montréal (Québec) in 2014-15 and was premiered on May 12, 2015 in the context of The Engine Room 2015: International Sound Art Competition and Exhibition at the Engine Room of Morley College in London (UK). It was commissioned by the Studio für elektroakustische Musik (SeaM) in Weimar (Germany).


Premiere

  • May 11, 2015, The Engine Room 2015 — Private View, The Engine Room — Morley Gallery — Morley College London, London (England, UK)

About this Recording

This version is a stereophonic reduction of the 16-track original realized in December 2017.

Xylocopa Ransbecka

Ana Dall’Ara-Majek

  • Year of composition: 2017
  • Duration: 15:22
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium (Klangdom)

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits
  • 48 kHz, 24 bits
To Annette Vande Gorne

I had left for Place de Ransbeck in search of Rumeurs’s thirteen doors when I encountered an angry hymenopteran who fled my microphone by hiding in the cracks of a wooden beam. This is how my piece was first conceived. It features a carpenter bee and twenty doors recorded at Musiques & Recherches (Ohain, Belgium). In it, I continue my exploration of changes of scale, from a passage in human proportions featuring familiar sounds to the more abstract world of microfauna, where bacteria found in wood form wriggling masses. Between these two sizes of scale, the carpenter bee carves out wood shavings and comes buzzing around our ears.

This piece is part of Nano-Cosmos, a cycle of acousmatic pieces dedicated to insects, small arthropods and microorganisms.

[English translation: Stephanie Moore, iii-18]


Xylocopa Ransbecka was realized in 16 channels in the Métamorphoses d’Orphée studio at Musiques & Recherches in Ohain (Belgium) in 2017 and was premiered on April 25, 2018 as part of the ÉlectroBelge concert at Espace Senghor in Brussels (Belgium). Thanks to Annette Vande Gorne for the residency at Musiques & Recherches (Ohain, Belgium).


Premiere

  • April 25, 2018, ÉlectroBelge, Espace Senghor, Brussels (Belgium)

About this Recording

This version is a stereophonic reduction of the 16-track original realized in December 2017.

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