- Year of composition: 2011-17
- Instrumentation: multichannel fixed medium
- Publisher(s): Ymx média
- ISWC: T9268411945
Light Vessels are unmanned ships that are moored at sea, acting as floating lighthouses, fog horns and weather stations (BBC Radio 4 listeners may be familiar with the Channel Light Vessel Automatic, one of the reporting weather stations on the daily shipping forecasts). The piece suggests interior and external soundworlds, actions and spaces: the ship’s hull, automated functions, warning sounds and surroundings.
Lightvessels was realized in 2014 at the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC, Sweden) and the Electroacoustic Music Studios of The University of Manchester (UK), and premiered on November 5, 2014 during the concert Concret_éclaté as part of the Akousma XI festival presented by Réseaux des arts médiatiques at Usine C (Montréal, Québec). Lightvessels was awarded the 1st prize of the 2nd Klang competition (Montpellier, France, 2015).
Moorings develops soundworlds and music out of the sounds of maritime vessel mooring rings, lines (or hawsers) and chains, boat hulls moving against the different kinds of bumpers found alongside docks and piers, boat engines and the interaction of water in, around and underneath harbour berths and vessels.
Moorings was realized during periods of residency in the electroacoustic music studios at the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC, Sweden) and EMS (Stockholm, Sweden), and at The University of Manchester (UK), and premiered on March 2, 2014 during the MANTIS 10 Years Festival (Manchester, UK). All sound material used in the work was recorded in Visby Harbour (Sweden). Special thanks to Manuella Blackburn for her assistance with the recordings.
Whereas the other works in the Nautical Cycle reference and develop sounds directly from maritime environments, Offshore is constructed entirely from recordings of bass clarinet improvisations by Marij van Gorkom (as part of her SS:ARs project, where composers explore the world of bass clarinet and electronics). A wide range of both idiomatic and extended articulations of the bass clarinet were explored in the recording process and later developed through studio-based transformation techniques. In particular, the sounds of the detached mouthpiece being played are extensively used, in addition to a range of low-pitched resonant sounds. Sonic characteristics were cultivated that led to impressions of distant vessels, micro-ocean texture and climate, upwelling processes and the obscuring of perception, and that also served to create links and references to the themes and materials specifically explored elsewhere in the cycle. As a result of the clarinet source sounds, unique identities for the work emerge, adhering to the concept of the revealing of unique soundworlds hidden within (both figuratively and literally) the instrumental source object. This can be further described, in more vivid and poetic terms, as the ocean of sound that is contained within the clarinet mouthpiece, breath and arising moisture.
Offshore was realized in 2017 at the composer’s studio in Manchester (UK) and The University of Manchester (UK), and premiered on October 28, 2017 during the MANTIS Fall Festival 2017 (Manchester, UK).
Buoy explores the soundworlds and environments of sea buoys, many of which have bells, gongs or whistles that sound in response to the motion of the sea. The diverse characteristics of buoys, used to aid sea navigation as well as scientific research of maritime weather, ecology and oceanography, inform the sonic language and grammar developed in the piece. Surges of materials phrased according to ocean wave action and underlying pulsating and droning pitched materials (alluding to the transmitted signals from buoys) create strong thematic threads through the work and provide a framework of navigation through real-world glimpses (waves and bells) and contrasting abstract soundworlds.
Buoy was realized during periods of residency in the electroacoustic music studios at the Visby International Centre for Composers (VICC, Sweden) and EMS (Stockholm, Sweden), and premiered on March 19, 2011 during the concert Akusmatisk magi at the Kulturkiosken of the Institutet för Digitala Konstarter (IDKA) in Gävle (Sweden). Buoy was awarded the Prize in the Concurso Internacional de Composição Electroacústica Música Viva (Portugal, 2012).
Starboard develops sonic materials within themes of navigation, current, resistance and transmission into a musical language that touches on ambient, noise, electronica and melodic traditions.
Starboard was realized in 2015 at the composer’s studio in Manchester (UK) and The University of Manchester (UK), and premiered on October 3, 2015 at the dBâle Electronic Music Festival (Basel, Switzerland). Starboard was a finalist in the Musica Nova 2015 International Competition of Electroacoustic Music (Prague, Czech Republic).