This piece has been developed from a larger piece for dance written for the Darc Swan Dance Co. with choreographer Chris Jannides and premiered in October ‘94 in an extended season.
The dance moved through symmetric and asymetric patterns — this is represented in the music with rhythmic and arhythmic passages. Three elements are combined to create the tape part — samples of tibetan chant, percussion sounds, and computer speech reciting sections from the Tibetan Book of the Great Liberation. All these sources undergo various forms of manipulation — layering, reversal, time-stretching, pitch altering. The computer speech is generated by a particularly gritty Atari program. The resulting speech, while having a kind of heavy-metal “charm”, is consequently not easy to understand. While a more sophisticated speech synthesizer might have given greater clarity, the current results suit the desired mood of the piece which is dark and foreboding.
All the various drum sounds are created from a small number of source sounds. Pitch changing was applied in exact integer relationships above and below 1:1. Similarly, time-stretching is applied to repeated patterns of these treated sounds and then a sieve algorithm is applied to create “holes” in the resulting rhythm matrix. Throughout, however, the placement of individual notes has been slightly smudged to create the illusion of a large number of drums playing together.
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