Assemblance(s) (CD) Track listing detail

Déchirure

James Andean

  • Year of composition: 2013
  • Duration: 7:32
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910007

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Déchirure: a tearing, a painful separation…

This piece involves a number of ‘déchirures,’ both musical as well as figurative (personal separations; the plaintive cry of the distant train…) although the only literal ‘tearing’ is saved for the final phrase. It is also a reference to the sound materials: through the act of recording, these have been ripped from the world and moment which gave them birth, to be reappropriated through the creative act that resulted in this piece.

[iii-19]


Déchirure was realized in 2013 in Studio Erkki of Sibelius-Akatemia in Helsinki (Finland) and premiered on November 14, 2013 during the MuTeFest’13 festival in the Black Box of the Musiikkitalo (Music Centre) in Helsinki (Finland). The piece was composed for the Presque rien 2013 project, for which sounds from Luc Ferrari’s archives were made available for the composition of new works. Thanks to Brunhild Ferrari. Déchirure was awarded the 2nd Prize at the Prix biennal Presque rien (Paris, France, 2013).


Premiere

  • November 14, 2013, MuTeFest’13: Almost Nothing — The Music of Luc Ferrari, Black Box — Musiikkitalo, Helsinki (Finland)

Awards

Hyvät matkustajat

James Andean

  • Year of composition: 2012, 14
  • Duration: 9:03
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910008

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Hyvät matkustajat is Finnish for “Dear Travellers,” but also for “The Good Travellers,” which is my preferred English translation for the title of this piece. The piece began life as a ‘sonic postcard from Finland,’ using soundscape field recordings from around the country. This turned out to be only the first stop on its journey, however… The original material was later further developed as material for sonic exploration and spectral transformations, with the external spaces of the original version taking a sharp digital turn inwards, to chart internal spectral landscapes, together with the soundmarks and soundscapes of its first incarnation. Everything in Hyvät matkustajat is made from the original field recordings that first gave birth to the piece.

[ii-19]


Hyvät matkustajat was realized in 2012 in Studio Erkki of Sibelius-Akatemia in Helsinki (Finland), and premiered on November 12, 2012 at the Acousmatica VI concert in the Black Box of the Musiikkitalo (Music Centre) in Helsinki (Finland). It was revised in 2014 and premiered on December 18, 2014 at the Acousmatica XV concert in the Black Box of the Musiikkitalo (Music Centre) in Helsinki (Finland).


Premiere

  • November 12, 2012, Acousmatica VI: Convergences, Black Box — Musiikkitalo, Helsinki (Finland)
  • December 18, 2014, Premiere of the final version (2014): Acousmatica XV: James Andean’s Final Doctoral Concert, Black Box — Musiikkitalo, Helsinki (Finland)

Awards

Valdrada

James Andean

  • Year of composition: 2018
  • Duration: 15:26
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910009

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

“… the traveler, arriving, sees two cities: one erect above the lake, and the other reflected, upside down. Nothing exists or happens in the one Valdrada that the other Valdrada does not repeat, because the city was so constructed that its every point would be reflected in its mirror…”

Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities (1972)

Valdrada is about memory — but, then again, perhaps the same is true of all acousmatic works…

[viii-18]


Valdrada was realized in 2018 at the composer’s studio in Leicester (England, UK) and at the Music, Technology & Innovation studios of De Montfort University in Leicester (England, UK). The work premiered on January 16, 2019 during the concert Sweet Anticipation at PACE Studio 1 of De Montfort University in Leicester (England, UK). Thanks to Merja Nieminen, and Marinos Giannoukakis.


Premiere

  • January 16, 2019, Sweet Anticipation, Studio 1 — PACE Building — De Montfort University, Leicester (England, UK)

Awards

Psygeío

James Andean

  • Year of composition: 2013-14
  • Duration: 9:56
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910010

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

This piece is composed from a recording of a refrigerator in the Old Jesuit Monastery in Áno Sýros (Greece) during a residency at the Syros Sound Meetings in the summer of 2013. I spent many long days during this residency recording the windy soundscapes of the island of Syros — blowing across the island’s hilly terrain, whistling through the windows and the shutters of the Monastery’s guesthouse… One day, passing through the kitchen on my way to record the wind beating against the windows, I was distracted by the rather pleasant hum of the refrigerator, and paused to take a quick recording before continuing with my obsession with the wind. In the end, it is this brief refrigerator recording that has caught and held my compositional attention.

[viii-18]


Psygeío was realized in 2013-14 in Studio Erkki of Sibelius-Akatemia in Helsinki (Finland), and premiered on February 12, 2014 at the Acousmatica XIII concert in the Black Box of the Musiikkitalo (Music Centre) in Helsinki (Finland). Thanks to Yannis Kotsonis, and Danae Stefanou. Psygeío was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Soundscapes category of the Sonic Arts Award (Rome, Italy, 2014).


Premiere

  • February 12, 2014, Acousmatica XIII: Liaisons et déchirures, Black Box — Musiikkitalo, Helsinki (Finland)

Awards

Spores

James Andean

  • Year of composition: 2014
  • Duration: 7:00
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium
  • Commission: Spor Festival

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910011

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Spores began life as one half of a dual work, in two contrasting forms: Part A for fixed medium, and Part B for piano and percussion. The fixed medium portion has since claimed its independence, as a work on its own. It is composed entirely from a few short passages recorded inside a piano.

[viii-18]


Spores was realized in 2014 in Studio Erkki of Sibelius-Akatemia in Helsinki (Finland), and premiered on May 9, 2014 under the title The Friedman Translations: Translation A during the Spor Festival in Godsbanen in Århus (Denmark). The piece was commissioned by Spor Festival. Thanks to Anna Berit Asp Christensen, Mark Knoop, Anne Marqvardsen, and Serge Vuille.


Premiere

  • May 9, 2014, Under the title The Friedman Translations: Translation A: Spor 2014: Create! Compose! Combine!, Godsbanen – Åbne Scene, Aarhus (Denmark)

Maledetta

James Andean

  • Year of composition: 2011
  • Duration: 6:08
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910012

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The idea for this piece began with my work on a contemporary reimagining of Cherubini’s opera Medea, in collaboration with director Panos Balomenos and pianist Gailė Griciūtė, which was presented in August 2011 at the Helsinki Design Museum in Helsinki (Finland) as part of the festival Night of the Arts. The sound material for Maledetta is built primarily from treatments of the voice of Maria Callas singing the opera’s title role, and of a recording of the piano reduction.

Maledetta intends to present a portrait of the title character of Medea, primarily through a portrayal of her psychological states – shifting back and forth between calm and maternal, and vengeful, violent and disturbed. This is most clearly achieved through the processing and treatment of the sound material, but also through the dislocated formal structure: while certain sound materials act as both themes and structural markers, the work proceeds in a series of alternating states, with the sense of formal development regularly frustrated and ruptured.

[iii-19]


Maledetta was realized in 2011 in Studio Erkki of Sibelius-Akatemia in Helsinki (Finland), and premiered on October 20, 2011 at the Acousmatica I concert in the Black Box of the Musiikkitalo (Music Centre) in Helsinki (Finland). Thanks to Gailė Griciūtė, and Panos Balomenos.


Premiere

  • October 20, 2011, Acousmatica I: Canada — Finland, Black Box — Musiikkitalo, Helsinki (Finland)

Medusan Torso

James Andean

  • Year of composition: 2010-11
  • Duration: 9:09
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910013

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Medusan Torso is based on material originally developed during my work on the audiovisual installation Re:****Sitruuna ja meduusa, a collaboration with visual artist Merja Nieminen. Medusan Torso is composed entirely from the sound material from the original installation; but where this material was deconstructed for the installation, then recomposed in real-time by the governing software, here it has been shaped and fixed to a timeline, allowing for a very different exploration of these same materials, and offering very different results.

What the piece retains from the original installation is the discrete identities of the sonic materials, which burst forth, travel, cross each other, but never mingle, transform or combine. These materials are built into moments and phrases, ranging from brief gestures to long, elaborate phrases.

[viii-18]


Medusan Torso was realized in 2010-11 at the composer’s studio in Helsinki (Finland) and premiered on March 26, 2011 in the concert Uutta elektroakustista musiikkia (New Electroacoustic Music), in the Chamber Music Hall of Sibelius-Akatemia in Helsinki (Finland). Thanks to Merja Nieminen.


Premiere

  • March 26, 2011, Uutta elektroakustista musiikkia, Chamber Music Hall — Sibelius-Akatemia, Helsinki (Finland)

Between the Leaves

James Andean

  • Year of composition: 2012
  • Duration: 5:14
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

ISRC CAD501910014

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Between the Leaves began when an output error turned a recording of John Cage speaking into a dense tapestry of noise; a fitting tribute, perhaps, for a piece created in the centenary of Cage’s birth.

The work presents a foreground of clicking gestures – every one following the same trajectory, yet every one unique, with subtle differences in timbre, velocity, and so on – layered and sequenced to provide a balance between monotonous repetition and detailed counterpoint. Behind this foreground layer is a soundscape struggling to be heard, sometimes masked by the mechanical foreground, sometimes spilling forward with a burst, cry, or distant wail.

Formally speaking, the piece slows to a halt at about the two-thirds mark, and then turns back on itself: the click trajectory changes direction, and we move back through the piece in reverse, gaining speed as we go, to finish where we began. The work is thereby unravelled and undone until it vanishes without a trace.

[viii-18]


Between the Leaves was realized in 2012 in Studio Erkki of Sibelius-Akatemia in Helsinki (Finland), and premiered on November 12, 2012 at the Acousmatica VI concert in the Black Box of the Musiikkitalo (Music Centre) in Helsinki (Finland).


Premiere

  • November 12, 2012, Acousmatica VI: Convergences, Black Box — Musiikkitalo, Helsinki (Finland)

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