River (Ordeal by Water) Curt Veeneman

River (Ordeal by Water) has two ingredients:

7 water goblets of various sizes
1 female voice.

This unlikely brew was processed and mixed for several months before reaching its final form on 4 channel tape. To begin, the goblets were partially filled with water to determine pitch as well as timbre. I then rubbed the rims (in long or short strokes) with moistened finger, struck the globes with various objects, including fingertip, fingernail, wooden stick, plastic rod, metal rod, and pencil eraser, and also played on the stems and feet of the goblets. These sounds were, in turn, “filtered” by adjusting the cupped palm of my hand over the opening of the globe.

My wife, Colleen, contributed her voice. She projected either directly into a microphone, or indirectly, after allowing the vocalized sound to resonate in a large goblet. Next, these concrete sources were electronically processed.

  • Year of composition: 1984
  • Duration of the submitted work: 9:03

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