voice and processing

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

Soundings in Pure Duration n.8 uses the rollicking semi-surrealistic tinged with sadness text ART ET AL. by the extraordinary American poet Stephen Dobyns. I interpreted the various kinds of events and descriptions with different kinds of electronic textures that attempt not only to match the text but to maintain the multiple levels present to one degree or another even while the text is focussing on one aspect alone. Many of the sounds were generated with my Dyad System, others are pre-recorded effects and instrumental sounds treated unmercifully with digital signal processing procedures to obtain the textures appropriate to the poem.

As always, spatialization plays an important role in the composition of Soundings n.8. Different sized ambiences dominate in turn and interact with each other, passages of what I call spatial counterpoint add to the rather complex dimensionality of the work, while many of the sounds have their own kind of space that moves with them around the listener. The vocalist is at the epicenter of all this movement, and at times he seems to be triggering the spatial transformations with his voice. All of this aims at the creation of an enlarged expressive experience where the sounds provide literal depth to the text, while the text provides the basis for as well as a precise clarity to the expressive intent of the entire piece.