Six Dreaming Jewels (1. AGATE) Diego Garro

Composition for tape in six short movements.
Total duration: 10’25’’

1. AGATE … … … .. 1’01’’
2. HYDROPICUS … … 2’30’’
3. CHRYSOBERYL … .. 1’14’’
4. CYMOPHANE … … . 1’40’’
5. BEZOAR … … … 2’00’’
6. CARBUNCLE … … . 1’45’’

Bright sounds, crisp resonance, sharp sonorities. Meta-materials as honed as diamonds; glowing like crystals. The Dreaming Jewels, in Theodore Sturgeon’s novel, have the magic power of synthesising and duplicating living beings as by-products of their mysterious vagaries and nightmares. They are material. They are alive. They feel pain and go their own inscrutable way, leaving behind completed men and animals, along with unfinished jobs, maimed cats, blind mutants, freaks that society will always despise.

I decided to compose six sketches of tape music while reading this fairytale. I was struck by the sort of ‘mysticism of things’ which does not need a supernatural creator to transcend reality and explore what lies beyond it. Each object can be a riddle. Every instant can carry an enigma. Each being is a puzzle, for itself and for its fellow beings. And every sound is a conundrum when we sculpt it with our own hands∑ Each of these abstract miniatures can be considered as self-contained electroacoustic chiselling. They can be played separately or in a different order, even though they work together as part of a whole, punctuated by cross-references, glimpses of call and echoes of response.

  • Year of composition: 1999
  • Hardware used: Windows PCs and Macintosh computers, with digital audio soundcards.

    MIDI controller keyboards. MIDI synthesisers. Digital samplers. Stereo microphones and portable digital recorders.

  • Software used: Sound synthesis and processing software: C-Sound, Composers’ Desktop Project, U&I Software MetaSynth, GRM Tools plug-ins. Audio multi-track: Digidesign ProTools, Adobe Audition (former Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro). Audio editors: Adobe Audition (former Syntrillium Cool Edit Pro), Bias Peak. MIDI sequencer: Steinberg Cubase.
  • Duration of the submitted work: 1:07
  • Production: Keele University

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