Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
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Works » By Title » S » Song of Songs (19:00 / 1992)

Barry D. Truax

oboe d'amore, English horn, 2 digital soundtracks and computer graphic images by Theo Goldberg

  1. Morning
  2. Afternoon
  3. Evening (3:04)
  4. Night and Daybreak

The work is based on the celebrated Song of Solomon text from the Old Testament whose lyrical and sensual imagery is portrayed in a cycle of four movements subtitled Morning, Afternoon, Evening, and Night & Daybreak. The soundscape of the work is derived from recordings of the text by Norbert Ruebsaat & Thecla Schiphorst, as well as recordings of a monk singing with the monastery bells at SS. Annunziata, near Amelia, Italy, along with cicadas and crickets recorded there by the composer. These sounds are supplemented by recordings of the Dawn Chorus in Brittany made by the World Soundscape Project at Simon Fraser University, and digital recordings made by Robert MacNevin of a stream and a crackling fire. All of the sonic material is subject to digital signal processing which stretches and harmonizes the sounds and brings out their inner voices and colours. The result is a Mediterranean soundscape in which all voices are singing, and the boundaries between the self and the environment are blurred — the voice becomes the environment and the environment sings with its own voice, with a refrain of “I am my Beloveds and my Beloved is mine” that is accompanied by the traditional Hebrew cantillation melody associated with Solomon’s text. Song of Songs was commissioned by Lawrence Cherney for Soundstreams, Toronto.

  • Premiere: Vancouver, SFU Computer Music concert

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