Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
Canadian Electroacoustic Community
GM-500 — 1455, boulevard De Maisonneuve Ouest, Montréal, QC, H3G 1M8, Canada
http://cec.sonus.ca - cec@sonus.ca

This composition continues the development of a musical language based on the color of unusual acoustic sounds. In this case the predominant use of inharmonic timbres (metal, multiphonics and a non-octave tuning system), creates the language that our musical tradition has for the most part ignored. A series of sections or ‘windows’ based on specific sound sources has the listener ‘caught’ by their interactions. Overall structural integrity is maintained by the reuse of similar gestures, colors and tuning systems. The composition was created entirely through digital recording and mixing of acoustic sounds and no electronic effects or processing were used. This working method, combined with the compositional decisions, produces a pure, untranslatable, and sensuous immediacy to the music. This immediacy is partly created by the recording techniques which accents the presence of the performer behind each instrument. Therefore the piece continues the composer's polemic against the increasing depersonalization of music made by electronic synthesis. By capturing the irrationality and irregularities of human performance this composition suggests an alternative way of allowing the human presence to be perceived through the vastness of the technology used to create such a composition. In this sense the deadening skin of sound habituation is peeled away to reveal a vivid, unaccustomed sound world of timbres, rhythms and melodies. This world could never be performed by a live ensemble because of the physical problems of instrument placement and amplitude differences and general performability problems because of rhythm and tuning. “Caught in an Octagon of Unaccustomed Light” was commissioned by CKLN radio in Toronto, with the assistance of the Ontario Arts Council. PD

  • Studio: Private studio. [1987-88].
  • Premiere: Radio: CKLN-FM (Toronto, Ontario), 15-v-1988; Concert: Concordia University (Montréal, Québec), 18-v-1988
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