Communauté électroacoustique canadienne
Canadian Electroacoustic Community
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Works » By Title » T » Tantrum IV (10:34 / 1972)

Michael Horwood

Tantrums is the title of a play written by Toronto playwright, Hrant Alianak, in 1972. I was commissioned by the Theatre Passe Muraille, who premiered the play under the direction of Louis Del Grande. Rather than acts in the traditional sense, Alianak wrote four extended scenes labelled Tantrum I, II, III, IV. The music for the magnificent fourth (and final) segment seemed to be the best portion of the entire play that would make an adequate, independent, elecroacoustic piece. The sound sources are two grating sound effects derived from the scraping of a threaded metal rod, rubbing against the strings of a folk guitar in one channel and against a large gong in the other channel. Overlaid on these scraped sounds is a narrating voice who gradually counts down backwards to zero. The theatrical action depicts a naked man gradually awakening and trying to dress — furiously rushing — scrambling — to some unknown event or deadline. He becomes more angry and frustrated as the tension overpowers him and his life, wherever it is leading. He screams. Blackout.

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