Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Denis Smalley on Electroacoustic Compilations, Part Two

Singcircle - Mouth Music (1983)

Gregory Rose conducts the exceptionally talented 'Singcircle' avant-garde vocal group -- made famous through their performance of Stockhausen's 'Stiimmung' -- here paired with three slightly less overground electroacoustic composers.

Smalley's piece, 'Pneuma', is electroacoustic only in the sense that the voices and instruments are amplified. These are mostly tiny sounds -- scraping drums, finger taps, hisses and whispers, and resonant metal percussion, sometimes transporting the listener to an acoustically dead cave full of dripping stalactites and intimate witchcraft -- which could only translate through recording or precise amplification. 

Simon Emmerson uses stereo panning delays and other live electronic production techniques to extend the ensemble's voices to great effect.

NWW list favourite Trevor Wishart -- who also worked with Singcircle on his piece 'Anticredos' -- gets the team to make... well, frankly, a series of quite rude noises.

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