Svart H​å​l Cláudio Pina

Svart Hål is the Swedish word for black hole. This piece was composed for the International Electroacoustic Composition Masterclass with Swedish composer Åke Parmerud. The piece is an homage to Ingmar Bergman, hence the title and the quotation in the beginning. The quotation is from the film Vargtimmen (1968) “The Hour of the Wolf”. This Swedish psychological horror film delves upon the themes of insanity, relationships and surreal elements with allusions to the werewolf legend. Vargtimmen is the moment when most births and deaths occurs, so it relates to time and the cycle of life. A black hole also represents a cycle of death and life, besides being shrouded by mystery and intimately connected with the notion of time. The quote on this piece belongs to Swedish actor Max Von Sydow, here he talks about time in the beginning of the film, waiting for the Sun to rise.

“A minute is actually an immense space of time… Wait, here it starts… (clock ticking) Ten seconds… uh… These seconds… You see how long they last? The minute isn’t over! (clock ticking) Ah, finally, it’s gone now.”

This quote can be perceived has the time stretch effect that a black hole applies to his surroundings. So this piece works about the notion of frozen and stretched time. The glissandi tones, (each tone with their specific frequencies in each channel) create the effect of spaghetification, that applies to anything that gets nearer to a black hole.

Coincidentally, this piece was composed during the time EHT team captured the first image of a black hole (in the center of M87 galaxy), lead by Katie Bouman, in April, 2019. Several sounds of black holes where used, the sound representation of two black holes merging that contains a high pitched glissando and radio hum from several black holes (taken from the free based sound folio of NASA). Other sounds, like clocks, bells and cuckoo clock represent the time passing and are always accelerating, decelerating and being frozen in time mimicking the effect of a naked singularity.

Puredata was used to create the drones, spacialization and granulation, Nuendo was used for mixing.

Source: 2023

  • Year of composition: 2019
  • Genre: Acousmatics
  • Format: Fixed media
  • Software used: Nuendo, Puredata
  • Duration of the submitted work: 9:27
  • Publisher: Cláudio de Pina
  • Production: Cláudio de Pina
  • Awards received: Aveiro Síntese 2019
  • Premiere: April 13, 2019, International Masterclass Electroacoustic Music
  • Disc publication: 07-05-2020

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