Irides literally means rainbows. In Greco-Roman mythology, rainbows were thought to be bridges made by the goddess Iris and connected heaven and earth. Irides are multicoloured arcs caused by diffraction and dispersion of light by water droplets in the air. Similarly, in this composition, momentary sunny spells and droplets of rain give rise to spectra, bands of colours, arcs that form double, triple and multiple sonic rainbows that permeate the scenery of the piece.
Irides explores a new method of composing focusing on the relocation of the visual, gustatory, olfactory and haptic environments into the aural space. Information is collected through audio recording and sensory mapping, exploring the interaction between timescales emerging in different senses. My system of composing with timescales as arborescent structures (part-explained in ‘Timescales and the Factors Influencing Time Perception’, Organised Sound Vol.25/2), evolves by incorporating information from other senses.
In the piece, spectral areas become thin lines, almost like sunny spells, where rainbows appear and we see bands of colours in the sky. Only in this case, the colours are sonic colours, timbres, mostly heard as glissandi going upwards and downwards, and create double and triple sonic rainbows.
An example can be seen in these two sonograms. In the first, after the wavy, undulating texture on the left, there are thin lines going upwards and disappearing, fading out gradually, creating an impression of a high-frequency canopy of sound.
In the second sonogram there are two of this type of structures; the first one has glissandi, arcs going downwards and upwards at the same time, creating an ‘X’ figure. In the second structure on the right, which looks like a ‘V’, there are faster glissandi going downwards and then disappear upwards again.
Expanding my previous research allowed me to see the potential of composite layers of sensory information to form musically meaningful polyphonic structures. Information collected at different times and places formed sections of varied durations.
Allowing for interpretation of other senses in musical structure creates an ecosystem of timescales, each cluster of timescales deriving from a different source. This process allows to creatively use information from other senses, often neglected when thinking about sound. Research insights were presented at conferences in De Montfort, Aberdeen and Greenwich universities (2019).
Presenting my new method of composing at Convergence conference, at De Montfort University (2019).
The work was premiered in April 2017 at the Sound of Memory symposium at Goldsmiths Great Hall, London. It has been subsequently selected for performances at the ISSTA (Irish Sound Science and Technology Association) conference at Dundalk, Ireland; at the Sound/Image conference in London; at the ICMC2017 (International Computer Music Conference) in Shanghai, China; at the Helicotrema festival in Venice, Italy, in a concert curated by Hildegard Westerkamp; at the SMC2018 (Sound & Music Computing) conference in Limassol, Cyprus; at the CIME/ICEM MUSICACOUSTICA 36th General Assembly organised by the Electroacoustic Music Association of China, in Beijing; at the Electroacoustic Music Days in Corfu, Greece; at the San Francisco Tape Music Festival 2019; at the ‘Electroacoustic Music in Great Britain: Past/Present/Future’ conference in London 2019; at the ‘Rediscoveries 11’ concert series in Aberdeen 2019; and at the ‘Mapping Spaces, Sounding Places’ conference in Cremona, Italy (2019). A binaural version of a multi-speaker live diffusion of Irides is published by Sonos Localia. The original stereo version is published by Stolen Mirror.
back to Compositions from 2000 onwards