Sublimate Benjamin Wilson

The primary compositional basis of Sublimate is concerned with the idea of chemical sublimation, wherein a substance in solid form transforms to a gas directly, bypassing a liquid state. Gradually the substance begins to evaporate and we hear delicate events that eventually escalate to a dense texture of varied sounds. As the solid’s mass decreases, the evaporation increases and the end result is a complete transformation to a gaseous state.

I thought the combination of sustained plucked events and shorter spastic ones related to the steady state of an inert solid and the frenetic movement of atoms in a gas. It also seemed similar to substances in outer space; dense nebular clouds of immense complexity where no single element stands out, but a grouping of distinct objects creates the image or illusion of a larger singular object.

Other aspects of the transformation could be seen in melting ice or dissolving substances either on a micro level (cubes in a glass of water) or macro level (icebergs in the ocean). The melting is not a smooth seamless process. There are instances where larger parts break off or the process slows down at times.

Possibly the ear singles out certain events from within a texture just as the eye can track for a moment a single speck of dust in a room before losing sight of it and then grasping onto another speck.

Sublimate was constructed using Karplus-Strong, Additive and FM Synthesis Csound instruments, Convolution, Mutation, Varispeed and Phase Vocoder processing within SoundHack and multi-tracking in Pro Tools.

  • Year of composition: 2002
  • Duration of the submitted work: 6:14

Linked project

  • Allen, Beaudet, Bélanger, Bernier, Bourque, Brown, Bry-Marfaing, Caza, Chantre, Cheng…
    46 tracks

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