Shioum concerns itself with gradual changes of state.
In the early stages of developing material for this piece, I created a short phrase made from electronically generated sounds produced by feeding the output of a sound processor back into itself. The first part of this phrase, which is quoted in full about a minute into the piece, sounds like the invented onomatopoeia “shioum”, but more importantly is a sound which is changing state as it progresses — harmonically (it moves gradually along the harmonic spectrum) and melodically (it drops gradually in pitch).
Much of the material used consists of long phrases, some aspect of which changes gradually. Sounds which were background material at one stage are brought to the fore at another stage. Some phrases fade away, some skid to a halt or gradually disintegrate into constituent parts.
Shioum was realised in the Electroacoustic Music Studio at Northern College, Aberdeen in 1994 and was first performed in December 1994 at the MAC in Birmingham, UK as part of the RUMOURS concert series.
It has been performed at a number of festivals including the Journeés d’Informatique Musicale ‘95 in Paris, the International Computer Music Conference in Banff, Canada and Musica Verticale in Rome. Shioum has been broadcast in Australia, Canada and USA and was released on CD in 1996 (Acousmatica — CD 1296).
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