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Ensemble text

Finnegans wake by James Joyce introduced frequent hybrid words and ambiguities of language. In Landscape with figures II, this novel was used as a huge reservoir of texts.

The Ensemble text fragments draw sounds from a passage with musical descriptions. The pathos implied by the text is contradicted by the music, through whispering, brushed Tam-tams, and a soundfield recording of ventilation sounds.1 Whispering through the instruments distort the text, especially through the narrow embouchure of a contrabassoon.2


Example 47: AJ Ensemble text 1.


Ensemble text 2 uses the same text. Instead of being spoken, the text is being "written" with sticks over the surfaces of percussion instruments.3 The text has been translated to gesture, through the action of writing.

Example 48: Ensemble text 2, Huddersfield.


1 Recorded in the hallways of Rokkans Hus, Bergen.

2 Speaking through the instrument has been used in works by Helmut Lachenmann, for instance Accanto for clarinet and orchestra. http://www.breitkopf.com

3 The technique of "writing" on a tam-tam has been used by Klaus Huber.

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