Radiant Dissonance (2. Lapse in Perception) Darren Copeland

Lapse in Perception is a text-sound composition about the challenge of understanding complex sensory phenomena in the everyday world.

Typically attention paid to everyday situations is quite superficial. While walking down the street one is quite happy to know that there are a row of shops on the right, vehicle traffic to the left, and the odd pedestrian passing by. Any more information begins to take the mind away from apparently more important matters. I wonder how much relationship there is between tuning out the external information in this way and our general neglect of the natural environment.

There is an element in this work that portrays what happens to something when its presence is neglected. This element is represented by the word “lap” and repeats frequently followed by a number that increases sequentially from one to fourteen. Each time the phrase appears it loses more of its intelligibility and assumes a strident pure-tone character. This process of textual obliteration illustrates the recession of clarity in our acoustic environment due to indifference and actions guided by self-interest.

The physical environment is a complex phenomenon, as is the make up of human personalities. The many layers that make up a person or a physical environment are combined every moment in a day through a complex network of interconnecting and contradictory patterns. Ignoring this complexity is to walk away from the beautiful contradictions and intricacies of life and reduce experience to mere surface impressions.

Lapse in Perception was composed in 1998-99 for the radio program Out Front on CBC Radio One. Special thanks to Judy McAlpine for her feedback and support throughout the process, to the Geneva Centre in Toronto for their assistance with research into the topic of autism, and to Mike Ladd for his invaluable recording contributions on Ward’s Island in Toronto.

  • Year of composition: 1998
  • Duration of the submitted work: 10:04

Linked project

Also part of Radiant Dissonance Volume Two - CSIRP.

More works by Darren Copeland