Wings of Fire Barry D. Truax

Wings of Fire incorporates a reading by Ellie Epp of the poem Wings of Fire by B.C. poet Joy Kirstin. In the work, the lover addressed in the poem is personified by the instrument which is also the source of all the material used to create the tape part. This material consists only of short fragments of bowing on the bridge of the instrument, natural and artificial harmonics, snap pizzicato, and col legno attacks (using the wooden part of the bow to hit the string). The sounds on tape that resemble bowed notes are in fact synthesized using digital resonators that model the behaviour of a string, each tuned to the pitch of one of the cello’s open strings. These resonators are used to process both the cello sounds and the text such that at certain moments the voice and instrument merge as one. Wings of Fire was commissioned by Vancouver New Music for its 1997 Canadian tour

  • Year of composition: 1996
  • Genre: Electroacoustics
  • Format: Mixed work
  • Instrumentation: female cellist and 2 digital soundtracks
  • Software used: PODX system for sound synthesis and composition
  • Duration of the submitted work: 14:00
  • Publisher: Cambridge Street Publishing
  • Premiere: January 22, 1997, Toronto, New Music Concerts, Art Gallery of Ontario, performed by Sue Round.
  • Disc publication: Wings of Fire is available on the Cambridge Street Records CD Twin Souls CSR-CD 0102 (performed by Frances-Marie Uitti) and the Mexican CD Voces Electroacusticas (performed by Iracema de Andrade).

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