After having spent some time exploring one instrument at a time I felt ready to combine different sound sources and explore a wider sonic palette in the role as improvising arranger and orchestrator.
In the first piece, a duo of piano and synthesis, I tried to make two complementary parts from the same speech source, filling each other out and varying between providing counterpoint and joining up in a common stream. The duo also is a manifestation of the two ways I have chosen to represent the musical structures derived from my analyses of speech: on one hand the free flowing quality retained in the abstracted (re)synthesis of speech, on the other the fixed pitches and attacks of the piano representing the formalized way of thinking about music as a grid of notes (of which the piano is the perfect example). These differences are perhaps the most striking when looking at speech and music, and by bringing them together both in a musical juxtaposition and dialogue (and as two voices embodied in one instrument, as the synthesis was played back through the piano sound board) this could perhaps shed some light on the dual nature of music-as-language and language-as-music.
Piano & (re)synthesis duo:
After adding more and more sound sources to my system, I found myself wanting to explore the equivalent of orchestrating one musical figure as wandering around the orchestra. I programmed a simple panning interface which allows me to quickly direct the synthesized sound to any speaker, be it the PA speakers or the exciters mounted on the piano or any drum. This can also be set to jump around automatically on each new attack. The study below is based on a recording of the everyday social situation of a family dinner, with ideas shifting around the table.
Wandering thoughts over dinner:
This and the next group consists of a MIDI-enabled mechanical piano, synthesis software, as well a percussive synthesis device played through exciter speakers mounted on acoustic drums and cymbals.
For the pieces below I tried to vary the density, distribution and musical role of the different parts to create different soundscapes. The speech sources are all taken from radio broadcasts with a lot of talking and few pauses, so the variation here is almost entirely due to the compositional choices and musical arrangement.