Aeolian Voices Barry D. Truax

In many cultures, wind is regarded as the “breath of nature”, and frequently described in terms of human vocal expression such as sighing, moaning, howling and so on. As an invisible force of moving air, wind is largely experienced through its interaction with ourselves and the objects it encounters, becoming audible by moving through and activating these materials. Also, wind can be stirred up by moving objects and can scatter the sounds that it carries, hence its elusive character, at times playful, at other times relentless. This soundscape composition takes the listener on an imaginary journey, starting in a windy wheatfield with a windmill, where a passing car kicks up some stones and wind gusts, and the wind scatters the sound of distant bells and geese. We then move into a shed where wind whistles through the cracks and crevices, banging anything loose enough to move, creating its own resonances and percussion. Finally we encounter ourselves in a heavy windstorm where our imagination may be tricked into thinking we hear more frightful sounds that are partially masked by the wind. All of these effects are the voices of the elusive wind.

  • Year of composition: 2013
  • Genre: Soundscape
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Instrumentation: 8 digital soundtracks
  • Hardware used: Original recordings from the World Soundscape Project Tape Collection, and vocal material by Norbert Ruebsaat.
  • Software used: Sound processing realized with Soundhack convolution and Chris Rolfe’s MacPod software, with spatialization created by Harmonic Functions’ TiMax2 matrix mixer, marketed by Outboard Inc (UK).
  • Duration of the submitted work: 12:00
  • Publisher: Cambridge Street Publishing
  • Premiere: 2013, Aeolian Voices was premiered at the 2013 Sonorities Festival at the Sonic Arts Research Centre, Queen’s University, Belfast.
  • Disc publication: Cambridge Street Records CD, The Elements and Beyond, CSR-CD 1401

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