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

For the originating idea of this work I have to go back to a specific day during the month of February 1945. The place was Budapest, Hungary. It was a memorable day: the duelling guns so deadly active during the siege of the city, fell silent the day before and the entire city was now under Russian control. For me and many others, to whom the defending German armies and their allies were the enemy, this meant a liberation from fear. In the crisp air, enjoying the feeble warmth of sunlight, standing in an upper storey room in a hill-top house, I suddenly began to hear inwardly the sounds of birds and tolling bells celebrating some kind of festivities: the echoes of feeling a great relief and a sense of exultation on account of what I took to be the end of the war, for me personally at least. The realization of this compositional conception had to wait 15 years. There are no real bird or bell sounds in the piece. The entire composition consists of sine tone assemblies. These were not to be realistically sounding simulations, but dream-like, imaginary, quasi-human sounding ones on account of the exaggerated and easily perceivable spectral changes. The overall form of the piece is determined by the opening slow crescendo-decrescendo, followed by the first group of bird-like events. The appearance of the first bell-like sound, shortly before the halfway point, was meant to have the effect of a surprise. This work was produced in 1960 at the Electronic Music Laboratory of the National Research Council of Canada. IA

  • Studio: Laboratoire de musique électronique du Conseil national de recherche du Canada (Ottawa, Ontario)

Radio CAP: Electronic Composition No. 3 "Birds & Bells"

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