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Between instrument and everyday sound was in no way a project to explore exhaustively. I will conclude by sketching areas to explore further in future projects.
Fragment or continuity
fragment types challenged my past musical language through more
continous situations. Landscape with figures II became the
longest work I have composed so far. Composing a large number of
independent fragments worked slightly better for the sound
installation than for fragments for the live musicians. Sound files
could be triggered and mixed seamlessly. Separate instrumental
fragments needed to be performed in sequence as separate movements,
with possible loss of energy through page turns and interruptions.
For future works, fragments could be incorporated to more continous
and uninterrupted scores.
Ideas of multidimensionality and activation of a large range of coexisting instrumental and concrete sounds could well have been taken to larger extremes, in continous marathons of density and duration. This idea will be reserved for future works, there are tendencies in the work Don't feed the birds, composed in parallel with Landscape with figures II.
Richard Barrett discussed how large time scales with complex materials are different from large time scales in the music of Morton Feldman.1 Feldman has increasingly interested me, by ways of keeping unpredictability and attention over long periods of time.
Pitch, intonation and morphology
Working with intonation systems implied than pitch is an important structuring parameter in my music, even though a flux of timbral qualities between centered tone ('son tonique') and noise can happen at any time. 2 Intonation systems created some resonant overall sounds to be perceived as timbres rather than individual notes, found through intervals relations within overtone series.
Interesting research is available to structure sounds by a multitude of morphological qualities.3 Future projects could have a stronger focus on other dimensions of morphology, given larger roles than pure inflections.
A microtonal organ
It turned out possible to create a microtonal organ, even though I could wish more flexibility through the sampling technologies, added to flexibility of intonation, and transitions of intonation.
I did at early stages try to create a morphing and microtonal MIDI instrument. If two manuals of the software instrument have the same tuning, and are performed in parallel through the same MIDI keyboard, types of cross synthesis can be applied to the two output sounds rather than the sampling system itself.4
I found the organ sound more realistic in Huddersfield, played through a larger PA system, than through the small Genelec speakers used in Oslo. The organ sound may require a certain size of speakers. In order not to obstruct tutti rehearsals, it proved important to have sufficient time to get all MIDI and sound equipment to work in advance.
Virtual orchestras and morphings
Approaches to virtual morphing orchestras were found through Csound5 and musical materials found through Open Music.6 Building libraries of sound to my personal preferences, rather than generic sample libraries,7 is a huge task when added to other challenges within the project. Repertoires of sounds were limited to a smaller sets than I initially had imagined. It was easier to create convincing melodic patterns from percussion sounds than from sampled long string notes.
Morphing was used in it's conventional meaning within cross synthesis of sounds, and in a wider sense transformations or distortions of own ideas or quotations. Not all sound morphings worked out as well in reality as imagined, ideas were tried and rejected.
of sounds and potential morphing combinations can be expanded for
I had a breakthrough during these 3 years in development of compositional techniques and methods using Open Music, as extensions of my past sketches on paper. Potentials were to some extent explored through Landscape with figures II, and will go into expanding toolboxes for future works. I will rather seek a diversity of tools for musical ideas, than "the ideal technique".
Soundscapes and compositions of 'sound objects' found possible ways to live side by side in Landscape with figures, while concrete field recordings could be brought to greater degrees of abstraction, keeping precise spatial perceptions of soundfield recordings.8 Everyday sounds appear within the concrete range of sounds, or towards an ensemble leaking into the outside world.
A spatial setup made it possible to compose spatial trajectories within an ensemble. Spatial instrumental compositions have a history from venetian renaissance in San Marco, to Karlheinz Stockhausen9 and Iannis Xenakis.10 It would be interesting to explore this in larger orchestral formats, through more of the possible 'spatio-temporal relationships' suggested by Xenakis.11
A vocabulary of spatial diffusion of sound was found. Outside worlds from soundfield recordings12 were projected to 8-channel setups,13 while other sound were in flux within up to 16 speakers through the DBAP algorhithm.14
The collaboration with Song Circus brought past and ongoing interests for the vocal possibilities closer to a sounding reality than before. The possibility to create a work in this scale and thoroughly define a concert format from the beginning was a valuable experience.
2 Schaeffer, 1966, Traité des objets musicaux, essai interdisciplines, p. 518.
The Orchidée project offers computer aided orchestrations, through analysis of large libraries of sounds: http://repmus.ircam.fr/orchidee
7 I used instrumental sounds from the Studio Online collection by Ircam, which feature more long notes than precise attack sounds.
9 Gruppen (1957) for 3 orchestral groups and other orchestral works.
10 Terretektorh (1966) and Nomos Gamma (1968).
11 Iannis Xenakis, 2010, music and architecture, p. 152.