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Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
Canadian Electroacoustic Community
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Works » By Title » P » Projectile (3:32 / 1987)

John Duesenberry

This short piece begins by launching a number of musical ideas, almost at once, at the listener. These elements (single short notes separated in time; soft sustained tones or chords; rapid flourishes whose contours are more readily perceived than the individual pitches that make them up; aggressive crash-like and ratchet-like gestures) are not so much ‘themes’ which ‘develop’ as sound-objects which continually reappear in varied guises and are juxtaposed/superimposed in different ways. As the work evolves, an initial impression of complexity and tension, produced by the near-simultaneous presentation of several elements, sorts itself out and resolves toward simplicity of texture. Textural polarities established in the piece are reinforced by the choice of timbre. The middle section, for example, focuses on a few simple, obviously ‘electronic’ timbres; this both complements its static, hocketing texture, and throws the surrounding sections (whose timbres sometimes approach the complexity of acoustic instruments) into relief. The title was chosen to suggest an intended quality of the composition: a sense of goal-directed motion, of ‘projecting or impelling forward.’ For those with technical interests: “Projectile” was produced using Yamaha synthesis equipment (a TX616 and 2 CX5M's), and EMAX sampler in a minor supporting role, and a Roland DEP5 effects processor. The ‘score’ consisting of MIDI data, was edited and performed with ‘Performer’ on a Macintosh computer. The timbres used in the piece were created using software by Opcode, Yamaha and Digidesign. JD

  • Studio: Studio privé
  • Premiere: New England Conservatory (Mass, USA), x-1987
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