voice and processing

Premiere: March 2, 2019, Montréal / Nouvelles Musiques 2019: La Grande Nuit, Agora Hydro-Québec — Cœur des sciences — UQAM, Montréal (Québec)

Quanta is a work for bass baritone voice and real-time computer processing. The work explores various musical structures that are formed by collections of gestural states that are presented to the performer. In each section, the performer has agency to move between the indicated states as guided by the section’s rules of interaction. The concept of the piece uses the metaphor of quantum states in a number of ways, such as: each unit of sound is discrete and detached from those surrounding it; a gesture may highlight a particular harmonic partial; a gesture may represent a small part of a whole. The computer acts as another agent of change in the piece. In each section, the computer also moves stochastically through various gestural states. The singer then can decide to change the path through the gestural states based on this new dimension or ignore it. Nevertheless, the computer’s output alongside the singer’s choices will offer a unique additive effect in each performance. This work was written for and dedicated to Nicholas Isherwood, whose inspiring talent, friendship, and generous support is greatly appreciated.

[ii-19]

Performance