Strange Bedfellows

'Strange Bedfellows' is a piece of plunderphonics. The title comes from the choice of source material used in the composition. I was away from home while working on the piece but had twenty CDs with me. Working with concatenative synthesis, I simply decided that my source corpus would be built from a passage of no more than five minutes from each CD. The composers are, as they would be with any random selection of CDs, a most unlikely bunch of collaborators - hence the title - but nevertheless the performers of this motley collection succeed in providing, it seems to me, a rich and homogeneous sound world when driven by the haunting beauty of the 6’34” opening to Xenakis' ‘La Légende d’Eer’.

The piece itself consists of recordings of seven single passes of that opening using different weightings of descriptors for each pass and then an eighth slightly more complex treatment.

These eight tracks were then mixed, in canon, to form the final 8-channel piece. I like the way this has resulted in a remarkably stately and intricately voiced pavane that I would have had difficulty discovering in any other way. And I also like the way its apollonian gravity is eventually masked and overwhelmed by the contrastingly dionysian nature of the last two takes.

This is a stereo mp3 reduction of the original 8-channel piece in which each entry of the cannon is ascribed to its own position in the surround-sound space.


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