Analogies of Control
The acousmatic face of this work is below contrasted with the performers'
Hultgren performed the works in the U.S. and Thomas Gardner performed in
the UK and Mexico. Both players' versions are strikingly different and that
is part of the intent. The acousmatic versions are not to be
considered 'models' of the performance versions. They are complete in and of
themselves, as are the cellists' renditions.
Alternatives to control
Analogies of Control
is the second realization of the aural model approach. It
is a mixed work for fixed sounds and instrumentalist. In some ways Analogies
of Control is more typical to instrument and fixed sound works in which the
performer reads a score written to integrate with the electroacoustic part.
However this work, by approaching the instrumental part of the composition
as plastic, allows both parts to be created as a singular work of plastic art. It is
only after the work is finished that the part to be performed and the part to be
diffused are separated. In fact, one important aspect of the piece is that it can
be presented acousmatically, that is, with no performer, using the un-separated
original in diffusion. These two aspects of the work introduce a kind of open
form not explored before now.
The parts that were to be later separated and used as an aural model for the
cellist were made from the same source objects that the cello studies used;
heat activated metals. The rest of the piece is built from cello sounds and their
electroacoustic derivations. I used various approaches with the instrument as
a sound source, including standard practice bowing all the way to a complete
physical dismantling of the instrument and ‘playing’ its separated parts.
Tuning pegs were bounced on the body and fingerboard, strings were drawn
through the f-holes. Bow and pegs were swirled across the back of the body.
Strings were twisted against themselves and resin was crushed and sprinkled
across the body. Some improvisations on cello by Craig Hultgren also were
included as sources.
It is important to stress, that during the course of creating the work, little
regard was made as from where the sources came. The extraction into model
(score) and accompaniment (diffused) happened after the fact. Three tracks are
made with two being diffused to the audience and the model delivered to the
cellist via headphones. Just as in the Parables, no one but the cellist hears the
electroacoustic model. For the audience that means that what is heard is sound
either made of or made from a cello. The audience doesn’t hear the original
composition as it was made; as I, the composer, heard it. It has been, as Eco
might suggest, been put out of joint. The cellist reassembles the work according
to his own reading of it.
The end result of this process is that the audience hears a performance of
acoustic cello and cello-derived plastic sound.