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[Compositions] [2020-2022]

2020



Composition 2020.01 (Barbara Hepworth) features a recoding of the artist Barbara Hepworth reading from her diary:  

‘It took a long time for me to find my own personal way of making sculpture. A long time to discover the purest forms that would exactly evoke my own sensations - and to visualise images which would express the timelessness of primitive forces which I felt - and the constant urge towards survival - and growth - which I knew to be fundamental  - both to the human being and the landscape in which we stand’.  

Other components of the composition include a continuous sinewave-based tone pitched at C1 - and three shorter sounds pitched at C2 and C3. Ring modulation has been applied to some of the elements to create a level of harmonic complexity. 




Composition 2020.02 (Untitled) consist of a sequence of four tones C3 - D#3 - C#3 - and D3 - repeated five times - and with a short period of silence at the end of each sequence. 



Composition 2020.03 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and Wavetable synthesis - and consists of three layers; two short sounds pitched at C4 and C#4; a fading sound pitched at C3; and three continuous sounds pitched at C0 - C1 - and C3. Static panning has been applied to two of the continuous elements - and distortion was used to create a level of timbral complexity.



Composition 2020.04 (Morton Feldman) consists of two layers; a short orchestral chord from Morton Feldman’s Untitled Film Music: Desert ; and two tones - pitched at G#2 - that fade in and out of each other. 



Composition 2020.05 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM - physical modelling - and wavetable synthesis - and consists of three short and medium-length sounds - pitched at C1 and C2 - that fade in and out of each other - and a pulsing sound - pitched at C3 - that continuous throughout the duration of the composition. Ring-modulation has been applied to some of the elements to create a level of harmonic complexity.



Composition 2020.06 (Anton Webern) is based on the twelve-tone row from the third movement of Anton Webern’s Variations Op. 27 (1937). The basic row is - D# - B - A# - D - C# - C - F# - E - G - F - A - and G#.  The tones appear as single notes - dyads - and triads - and are separated by periods of silence.



Composition 2020.07 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of eight short repeating sinewave-based sounds separated by periods of silence -  and a longer pulsing sound that occurs in the middle of the composition.



Composition 2020.08 (Untitled) was produced digitally using physical modelling synthesis (electric piano) - and consists of repeating tones - pitched at C2 - C3 - and C#3 - that occur as either single notes or as dyads. 
The composition is sparsely textured - with the sounds are separated by periods of silence.



Composition 2020.09 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM synthesis - and consists of two sinewave-based tones - pitched at C2 and C3 - that slowly fade in and out of each other. Ring-modulation has been applied to create a level of harmonic complexity. 



The components of Composition 2020.10 (Untitled) consist of four repeating sounds of different durations that fade in and out of each other. Some of the elements have been hard-panned to the left and right channels of the stereo field. The composition was produced using FM and physical modelling synthesis. 



Composition 2020.11 (Object World) is fourth in the series of Object World compositions - in which all four compositions incorporate shared material with different variations of themes and ideas. The production of the compositions span a ten year period from 2010 to 2020 - with the fourth iteration of the series being a consolidation of the previous compositions - as well as introducing new material. 

Like the earlier Object World compositions - Composition 2020.11 is sparsely textured - with repeating sounds fading in and out of silence.  It is an example of ‘technological lessness’ - and explores what the architect and philosopher Buckminster Fuller called ‘post-industrial ephemeralisation’ - of doing more with less - of doing everything with nothing. 

Object World is also the title of a collection of poetic prose fragments - of which this is the first: A back hardback notebook is lying open on the desk in the study. Written in pencil on one of the pages is the poem - ‘Things exist. There is also the non-existence of things.’




Composition 2020.12 (Anne Truitt) features a recording of the artist Anne Truitt reading from her diary: ‘I now have two large plywood surfaces in Stone South and am working on them in tandem so that the series of paintings on canvas I am calling Brunt is coming along rapidly. They are coming out of the shear turn that presented itself to my inner eye a few weeks ago, a return to the preoccupations in my early sixties’ sculpture: burnt umbers; blacks; dark, dark reds and blues and purples rammed into proportions allowing, to my eye, no room for potential change. They are for me as categorically restrictive as endurance; they are the brunt of endurance. A familiar brunt. It was only in 1967, in the exhilaration of my return from Japan to America, that it occurred to me that I could use the energy I had been putting into endurance to change my life. Yet the concept of brunt, of accepting and enduring, still seems to me to have a kind of nobility. It is, perhaps, less intelligent, but there is a stubborn selfhood about it that is dear to me. It can be, quite literally, the only way to survive.’ 

The composition was produced digitally using FM and physically modelling synthesis - and in addition to the spoken words element there are a number of repeating sounds that fade in and out of each other. 

Composition 2020.12 (Anne Truitt) was released as an album by IKLECTIK in 2020.



Included within Composition 2020.13 (Edgar Varèse) are samples of two orchestral chords from Edgar Varèse’s composition Déserts. These chords are repeated against a backdrop of sinewave-based sounds that fade in and out of each other - and a continuous tone pitched at C1.
 
According to Varèse the title of his composition regards, ‘not only physical deserts of sand, sea, mountains, snow, outer space and deserted city streets -  but also distant inner space - where man is alone in a world of mystery and essential solitude.’ 

Composition 2020.13 (Edgar Varèse was first performed at Corpora Aliena - Desert Stories - IKLECTIK [off-site] - 23.09.2020






Composition 2020.15 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and physical modelling synthesis - and consists of multiple layers of slowly fading sounds pitched at C3 and C4. In addition - there is a a continuous un-pitched pulsing sound - and a continuous sinewave-based tone pitched at C1. Distortion has been applied to create a level of timbral complexity. 



Composition 2020.16 (Untitled) consists of a number of fading sounds - pitched at C2 - C#2 - and C3 - set against the background of a quickly pulsating sound pitched at C2 - and continuous sinewave-based tone at C1.



Composition 2020.17 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and wavetable synthesis - and consists of three fading sounds pitched at C4 - and a continuous sinewave-based pulsing tone at C1. Ring-modulation has been applied to some of the elements to create a level of harmonic complexity.



Composition 2020.18 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and wavetable synthesis - and consists of a short un-pitched repeating sound - three short fading sounds - pitched at C3 and C4 - and a continuous sinewave-based tone pitched at C1. Distortion and ring-modulation have been applied to some of the elements to create levels of harmonic and timbral complexity.



Composition 2020.19 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and physical modelling synthesis (electric piano) - and consists of two layers of short pitched tones occurring simultaneously to form dyads  - with each dyad separated by an equal duration of silence. The pitches for layer 1 are: C3 - C#3 - C3 - C3 - C3 - C3 - C3 - B2.  And the pitches for layer 2 are C2- C2 - B1 - C2 - C#2 - C2 - C2.  In addition to these sounds is a continuous sinewave-based tone pitched at C1.



2021



Composition 2021.01 (Untitled) was produced digitally using FM and physical modelling synthesis (electric piano) - and consists of of two layers; a repeating tone - pitched at C2 - from the electric piano; and a repeating sinewave-based sound - pitched at C3 - that slowly increases and decreases in volume.



Composition 2021.02 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of a short repeating tone - pitched at C2 - separated by equal periods of silence - and a central composite element made up of un-pitched sounds and Shepard tones. Distortion has been applied to create levels of timbal complexity.



Composition 2021.03 (Untitled) is sparsely textured and consists of two continuously repeating tones; one from the electric piano pitched at C2 - and the second is sinewave-based pitched at F#2.  Both elements are separated by periods of silence.



Composition 2021.04 (Untitled) consists of three layers: a central sinewave-based un-pitched sound; a repeating tone from the electric piano - pitched at C1 - and separated by periods of silence; and a continuous tone pitched at C1. Distortion has been applied to create a level of timbral complexity.




Composition 2021.05 (Karlheinz Stockhausen) is based on the twenty-four-tone pitch row from Karlheinz Stockhausen’s Klang series of compositions (2005-2007). The twenty-four notes of the row were organised by Stockhausen that allow for both consonances and dissonances to occur - which is reflected in this new composition.  This is the pitch row: E2 - C2 - F2 - D3 - C#3 - D#3 - A3 - G3 - G#3 - B2 - F#3 - A#2 - D#2 - C#2 - D2 - F3 - C3 - E3 - A#3 - F#3 - B3 - G#2 - G2 - A2. It was used in its original form in the composition  - and also in retrograde.



Composition 2021.06 (Andrew Page) consist of two layers; an un-pitched central sound based on a sample from the sound artist Andrew Page; and two sinewave-based sounds - pitched at C4 -  that slowly fade in and out of each other. Distortion and ring-modulation have been applied to create levels of harmonic and timbral complexity. 

Composition 2021.06 (Andrew Page) is part of the collaborative album project  -  Call and Responses - that the sound artist Andrew Page curated in 2021 - and includes contributions from fifty-two composers and sound artists from around the World.



Composition 2021.07 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists   of three layers; a short sinewave-based repeating tone pitched at C4; a repeating fading sound pitched at C4; and a central pulsing sound at C3. All of the elements are separated by periods of silence.


Composition 2021.08 (Untitled) consists of two layers; with two sinewave-based fading tones alternating between pitches C3 and A#3 - separated by periods of silence; and a fading tone at C1. Ring-modulation has been applied to create a level of harmonic complexity.



Composition 2021.09 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of two layers; a central pulsing sound pitched at C3; and two fading sounds pitched at C1 separated by periods of silence. Ring-modulation has been applied to create a level of harmonic complexity.



Composition 2021.10 (Untitled) consists of two layers; with two short fading tones pitched at C1 and C3; and ten fading tones pitched at C3. All of the elements are separated by periods of silence - and ring-modulation has been applied to create a level of harmonic complexity. 


Composition 2021.11 (Untitled) consists of two layers: a short repeating tone - pitched at C2 - from the electric piano; and two repeating fading tones - at C3 and C#4. All of the elements are separated by periods of silence.



Composition 2021.12 (Arnold Schoenberg) is based on the twelve-tone row from Arnold Schoenberg's Suite for Piano Op 25 - and consists of two layers. This is the tone-row: E–F–G–D♭–G♭–E♭–A♭–D–B–C–A–B♭. In the firs layer the row - sounded by an electric piano - occurs as either single notes on in dyads - with the tempo at 120 BPM. In the second layer the row is expressed by sinewave-based sound-lines with the tempo at 60 BPM. 

Composition 2021.12 (Arnold Schoenberg) was first performed at Corpora Aliena - IKLECTIK - London - 20.10.2021





Composition 2021.13 (Untitled) is sparsely textured - and consists of three layers; a repeating tone pitched at C3; a repeating tone pitched at C2; and five repeating tones at C#3 - D3 - D#3 - A#3 - and B3. All of the elements are separated by periods of silence.



Composition 2021.14 (Elisabeth Lutyens) is based on the tone-row from Elisabeth Lutyens’ Wing Quintet Op. 45 (1960) - with the notes of the row being transferred from wind instruments to sinewave-based sounds produced by FM synthesis. The basic tone-row of the quintet consists of the following pitches: F# - A# - D - A - C# - F - E - D# - B - C - G - G# - and is repeated seven times throughout the composition - with the tones slowly fading in and out of each other. 

‘The initial basic cell, however small,. ..[contains] the possibilities within it for change and development in various proportions, tensions, relaxations, speeds, etc., in relation to each other. Once I have got my cell - probably but a few notes scribbled - the aural and formal possibilities grow in my mind: the why, wherefore, character and gesture of the whole work. Eventually I begin the writing down of the piece (alongside it any serial arrangement to be called upon).’  
Elisabeth Lutyens



Composition 2021.15 (Untitled) consists of three layers; a repeating fading tone pitched at C3; a repeating dyad of C#5 and C#1; and a repeating dyad of B4 and B0. All the elements are separated by periods of silence.