The Shaman Ascending Barry D. Truax

The Shaman Ascending evokes the imagery of a traditional shaman figure chanting in the quest for spiritual ecstasy. However, in this case, the listener is placed inside of a circle of loudspeakers with the vocal utterances swirling around at high rates of speed and timbral development. The work proceeds in increasing stages of complexity as the shaman ascends towards a higher spiritual state. The work and its title are inspired by a pair of Canadian Inuit sculptures by John Terriak with collectively the same name, as well as Inuit throat singing. All of the vocal material heard in the piece is derived from recording of the Vancouver bass singer Derrick Christian.

Source: 2020

  • Year of composition: 2004
  • Genre: Electroacoustics
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Instrumentation: 8 or 16 digital soundtracks
  • Software used: PODX system for sound synthesis and composition.
  • Duration of the submitted work: 15:00
  • Publisher: Cambridge Street Publishing
  • Premiere: February 12, 2005, The Shaman Ascending was commissioned by the ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany and premiered there.
  • Disc publication: The Shaman Ascending is available on the Cambridge Street Records CD, Spirit Journies, CSR-CD 0701, and the Empreintes Digitales DVD, Trans_Canada in a 5.1 format.

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