Métamorphoses 2018 (2 × CD) Track listing detail

If (and only if) I am among

James O’Callaghan

  • Year of composition: 2017
  • Duration: 9:03
  • Instrumentation: 4-channel fixed medium (with additional sound diffusion: distant, and above the public)

Stereo

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

If (and only if) I am among is an acousmatic re-imagining of two of my pieces for instruments and electronics: If:Iff (2014) and Among Am A (2015). When developing such works, I create extensive electroacoustic materials that are sometimes never heard in a performance of the final work, and so transporting these artefacts of the compositional process into a new work can breathe new life into them. Besides these materials, I also took recordings of the premieres of the instrumental pieces — by the McGill Contemporary Music Ensemble and Ensemble Paramirabo, respectively — as source material.

I chose to link these two works together because they examine related ideas that gain new meaning in an acousmatic context. If:Iff examines the idea of cause and effect through a severing of performance gesture and resultant sound, as well as a sonic image of glass shattering and ‘unshattering’, as if scrubbing backward in time. Among Am A examines the experience of concert listening and a breakdown of the division between ‘musical’ and ‘non-musical’ sounds, gestures, and spaces.

The acousmatic context natively severs gesture and sound, offering another vantage point for these ideas from which one’s imagination may become more active.

[ii-18]


Premiere

  • September 28, 2017, Électrochoc 2017-18: Électrochoc 1: James O’Callaghan, Studio multimédia — Conservatoire, Montréal (Québec)

Awards

Grito Enceguecido

Nahuel Litwin / Nahuel Litwin

  • Year of composition: 2018
  • Duration: 8:24
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Originally conceived as a piece that would contain different street sounds, this piece changed its course after being played during a street protest in Buenos Aires. The energy generated by the people, the noises, the smells and the lights led me to write some words around which the general form of the piece was organized. Female voice: Raquel Ameri.

[Source: MR 2018]


Awards

Fantasia Essata

Alex Buck

  • Year of composition: 2018
  • Duration: 10:39
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The title of this piece is a reference to the namesake concept, coined by Leonardo da Vinci. I came across this concept reading an article by Vilem Flusser in which he explains that photographic images (or, in music, recorded sounds) are good examples of products generated by two combined realms, namely science and art. Sounds and photographic images are derived from science because cameras and audio recorders could only exist due to scientific research. Meanwhile, they can also be artistic products as long as they are used as elements of an artistic syntax. Even though the fields of science and art were not that apart during da Vinci’s time. He named this union “Fantasia Essata” — fusing both the precision and objectivity of the scientific field, and of the subjectivity and inventiveness inherent of artistic domains. I decided to name my piece after this concept, especially because I have only used recorded sounds (concrete ones) as materia prima to compose this piece.

[Source: MR 2018]


Awards

I dreamt that I died and came back as a moth trapped in a practice room piano

Gordon Delap

  • Year of composition: 2017
  • Duration: 9:26
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

This was built using rejected source sounds and abandoned ideas for a composition for live piano and electroacoustic sounds. The materials were used instead in I Dreamt that I Died and Came Back as a Moth Trapped in a Practice Room Piano. The composition, in part, is a reflection on infinite recurrence and the fragility of life. Also, it’s hard to feel much warmth towards the piano. I suppose it’s possible to respect it without ever quite liking it. It’s an authoritarian old thing, monstrous in size and shape, kitted out like a torture instrument with a Cheshire Cat’s grin, fixed, rigid, with an ungainly way of smashing through material and breaking up lines, it conjures ideas of repetitive strains and torn tendons, of non-musicians’ reports of how childhood lessons on the instrument put them off musical training for life. The piano is, then, a great destroyer, as well as a great creator. The title alludes to the famous butterfly passage from Zhuangzi’s writings, which (in one translation) goes like this: “One night, Zhuangzi dreamed of being a butterfly — a happy butterfly, showing off and doing things as he pleased, unaware of being Zhuangzi. Suddenly he awoke, drowsily, Zhuangzi again. And he could not tell whether it was Zhuangzi who had dreamt the butterfly or the butterfly dreaming Zhuangzi. But there must be some difference between them! This is called ‘the transformation of things’.”

[Source: MR 2018]


Awards

Traces of Play

Ambrose Seddon

  • Year of composition: 2017
  • Duration: 11:11
  • Instrumentation: 4-channel fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

This work was inspired by the kinds of games that I have played with my young son during his early years, using toys along with everyday objects. I was drawn to the kinds of play that he engages with and the resulting outcomes and processes — repeating the same thing, exploring new possibilities / potentials, returning to the familiar, or trying something once and then moving on to find the next interesting activity. I wanted to adopt my son’s spirit of play in my musical explorations; to pursue the development of some ideas whilst leaving others less developed, open to a possible return but not necessarily bound to it. Many of the source sounds are significantly transformed, yet I hope that traces of the physical play underpinning the sound world remain tangible. Initial work on this composition was carried out at Elektronmusik Studion (EMS), Stockholm, and I am extremely grateful to everyone at EMS for their help and support while I was in residence. The music is dedicated to my late father, Peter, who was an inspirational creative practitioner and father, and who was always so encouraging and supportive of my work.

[Source: MR 2018]


Premiere

  • June 2, 2017, Klang! électroacoustique 2017: Concert, Salle Molière — Opéra Comédie, Montpellier (Hérault, France)

Awards

Return to Homeland

Shen Lin

  • Year of composition: 2018
  • Duration: 8:06
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The song was inspired by a true story, according to which the Mongolian Torghut groups moved west to the Volga region (1630) and finally returned to their homeland (1771). The sound materials of this composition came from the Mongolian Shawuerden dance from the Xinjiang province in China. The lyrics of the song describe a scene as follows: beside the clear lake, beautiful girls were dancing with their whole heart while parents were standing around them, playing shawuerden and singing with joy, which resounded in the valley. By modifying the shawuerden dancing music, the piece indicates that tribal people, on their way to their homeland, felt the fear of death brought up by the war and plague, and longed for life and happiness. The music begins with uncertainty, with sounds that seem to capture precise directions but are ephemeral, as well as crystal sounds that gradually open a broad view based on sounds. But soon, this formerly beautiful landscape is disturbed by very strong external sounds. The intensity of the sound pattern, rhythm, and deep chanting create a natural counterpoint that makes the discomfort increasingly intense until the sense of repression is overwhelming. Suddenly there comes a light ahead, as if a holy force was constantly beckoning and guiding you in the distance, and the vast picture of sounds flashed back into your mind.

[Source: MR 2018]


This work is supported by the China Scholarship Council. Folk-song singer: Sambuu, Wurnaa; Tovshuur: Sambuu, Lin Shen.


Awards

Knars

Roeland Luyten

  • Year of composition: 2018
  • Duration: 9:38
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Crystalline sound splinters melt into a moldable amorphous sound mud. Rhythmically organized figures grind against spectral sustains and create a stuttering continuation of the sound. This piece is composed from inside out. From point to shape, from shape to layer. Little randomly generated patterns made out of short percussive sounds are selected and linked together and branch out to bigger clusters.

[Source: MR 2018]


Knars is an octophonic electroacoustic composition realized at the Musiques & Recherches studio in 2018.


Premiere

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

Awards

Fluxus, pas trop haut dans le ciel

Jaime Reis

  • Year of composition: 2017-18
  • Duration: 9:15
  • Instrumentation: 16-channel fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

This piece belongs to the Fluxus cycle, inspired by elements of physics, in which musical elements related to certain physical phenomena pertaining to fluid mechanics are developed. This particular piece is centered in ideas related to what I have called “aerial” soundscapes. The formal development is based on three pillars that were inspired by Bernie Krause’s concepts of geophony, biophony, and anthropophony. The sound spatialization acts as a central musical parameter, where the distribution of sound among the loudspeakers is not only related to different kinds of movements and spatial “shapes,” but also to spectral changes, different speeds and other parameters, making the spatial movements (paths) to be more or less recognizable, and even not at all. Such shapes / paths aren’t intended to be listened to as a catalogue of movements as they relate to formal aspects of the macrostructure and also to the “energy flow” that is present in each of the used sound worlds.

[Source: MR 2018]


Commissioned within the context of “The Soundscape We Live In,” a European Project organized in collaboration with GMVL, Tempo Reale, Amici della musica de Cagliari, AFEA, and the Ionian University. The main electronic realization was created during a residency at the Musiques & Recherches studios (Ohain, Belgium).


Awards

Vestiges

Sebastian Edin

  • Year of composition: 2017
  • Duration: 10:06
  • Instrumentation: stereo fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Vestiges was written with a fascination for the spectral (in both senses of the term) qualities of recorded sound, during an extended stay on the Faroe Islands in Autumn 2017. To work with these sounds, I felt, was to allow oneself to be haunted — to remember (and therefore to create) innumerable lost pasts through electronic rites. This relationship between technique and time, two interdependent notions, is the main foundation of a piece in writing which I came to ponder my own experiential-recollecting apparatus; through the borrowed modalities of microphones, portable recorders, sound processing software, speakers… Through the voice of another.

[Source: MR 2018]


Vestiges was commissioned by The Royal Danish Library in Copenhagen. The piece was premiered at Den Sorte Diamant, Copenhagen, on November 4, 2017. Vocals performed by Anna Katrin Egilstrøð.


Awards

Schrei

Pierre-Luc Senécal / Jonathan Littell

  • Year of composition: 2014
  • Duration: 9:44
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Schrei is an electroacoustic piece on the theme of World War II. Recordings of large metal objects, voices, breaths and national-socialist anthems have been assembled and spatialized on 8 speakers in an attempt to evoke a metaphorical scream, as if all the victims of this war had shrieked at once. The text is mostly taken from Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones, and was used with the author’s permission. Like him, I believe “all the horrible things we do to each other are completely unjustified” (Haaretz, May 2008).

[Source: MR 2018]


Awards

Reminiscences (Memorial to a Common Citizen)

Levy Oliveira

  • Year of composition: 2016
  • Duration: 8:17
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The piece is a reflection about life itself. The music acts as if the listener was inside the mind of someone close to death as they are recalling important moments of their life such as childhood, sexual experiences, parties, and work and death. The piece uses recorded and synthesized sounds to suggest all these environments, sometimes clearly and sometimes blurred, illustrating passages of life that almost anyone can relate with.

[Source: MR 2018]


Awards

Opaque Fragments

Marc Parazon

  • Year of composition: 2017
  • Duration: 8:31
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The slow combustion of incandescent hearths burning out
Irruption of electrical shards troubling the triumphant solitude of their curls
The ascension and the inexorable fall into a cooling down volcanic substrate.
A space granting its prisoners transparency

[Source: MR 2018]


Awards

Karst Grotto

Nikos Stavropoulos

  • Year of composition: 2017
  • Duration: 8:00
  • Instrumentation: Ambisonics multichannel fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

The title Karst Grotto — chosen for its onomatopoeic qualities and its direct references to landscape types, as well as geological spatial structures and processes — reflects the sound world of the work. Karst, a particular topography, is created by the dissolution of soluble rock types from their contact with acidic rain water. A microlevel chemical process characterizes the morphology of entire landscapes and results in complex networks of small-scale — micro-space — features and textures like fissures and rillenkarrens.

[iii-19]


Karst Grotto was realized at the studios of the Department of Music Technology and Acoustics Engineering of the Technological Educational Institute of Crete (Greece) and the Institute for Computer Music and Sound Technology (ICST) of the Zürcher Hochschule der Künste (ZHdK) in Zurich (Switzerland), between July 2016 and January 2017, and was premiered on November 4, 2017 during the Sound Junction concert series in Sheffield (UK). Many thanks to Johannes Schütt for his guidance and support. Karst Grotto was awarded the 2nd prize in the electronic music category at Computer Space (Sofia, Bulgaria, 2018) and a Special Mention at the 10th Biennial Acousmatic Composition Competition Métamorphoses (Belgium, 2018).


Premiere

  • November 4, 2017, Sound Junction Autumn 2017: Nikos Stavropoulos, Firth Hall — The University of Sheffield, Sheffield (England, UK)

Awards

Astérion

Rocío Cano Valiño

  • Year of composition: 2018
  • Duration: 8:22
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

Astérion is an acousmatic piece inspired by Jorge Luis Borges’ The House of Asterion. The shorty story describes the life of a Minotaur named Asterion, who lives in an immense labyrinth. This place is his home and his prison, and is at once finite and infinite. Every nine years, nine men enter his house so that he may “deliver them from evil.” One of them prophesies that at the time of his death, his redeemer (Theseus) would come. The acousmatic work leads the auditor through the labyrinth. In the last part, the musical concentration is accentuated linking this moment to the confrontation between Theseus and the Minotaur. The final sigh represents the last breath of Asterion.

[Source: MR 2018]


Awards

Moments of Liberty II: Falling Within

Dimitris Savva

  • Year of composition: 2017
  • Duration: 13:59
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

  • 44,1 kHz, 16 bits

“From the surface to the depths…”

I am grateful to the dancers Madeline Shann, Tara Baker and Dawn Webster for their beautiful performances, recorded and used in this composition.

[Source: MR 2018]


Awards

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