Music for aXiO, Open this Door David Eagle

The composer’s aim was to sculpt sound in live performance. Several sampled and synthesized sounds were used as raw material and then manipulated, explored and transformed through physical gestures on the aXiO, revealing the life and character within these sounds. A few of the samples were recorded during an ‘ear-opening’ visit to Roy Hamil’s sound sculpture studio in the foothills west of Calgary.

The aXiO — alternative eXpressive input Object — is an electroacoustic instrument/controller which gives the performer a broad range of expression and control of synthesizers, samplers and computers. It was designed by Brad Cariou at the University of Calgary to provide interpreters with flexibility for work in various new media.

The instrument has a cross-like structure, stands about body and is played with both hands on three distinct surfaces:
a palm-rest joystick for the left hand,
a velocity-sensitive keyboard for the right hand, and,
running up the musician’s shoulder, is an array of buttons used to change voices or trigger musical sequences.
In performance, the right hand selects and plays the notes or events with aftertouch and pitch bending capabilities while the left hand provides more expression and transformation of sound. For instance, the left-hand joystick could be used to move a sound in space, to change its overall volume, to sustain a sound, to change its colour, and to do it all simultaneously in real time.

  • Year of composition: 1993
  • Duration of the submitted work: 9:28
  • Production: University of Calgary EMS

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