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Month: March 2011

Constellations by Robert Lunn

Constellations was composed during January and February of 2011. The New Music Collective of The Ohio State University, who commissioned the work, asked me to compose a piece for computer processed voice, electric guitar and percussion. I decided to make as a focal point of this piece the vocalizing talents of David Tomasacci, who can create a vast array of sounds and rhythms that I thought would sound good processed live by the computer.

The central processing tool I use throughout Constellations is granular synthesis. This, in effect, takes a small snapshot of sound and plays it back over and over. With the help of a midi foot pedal, I am able to adjust the position of this snapshot. The resulting sound, to me, sounds other worldly, hence the title.

The first movement, Phoenix, showcases the vocalist. The movement opens with whistling
before moving on to free vocalizations. These vocalizations are processed by the computer which in turn creates a melodic and rhythmic counterpoint to what the vocalist is doing. The second movement, Orion, is a short, spacious duet between the guitar and vocalist. The second movement runs into the third movement, Andromeda, without a pause. The final movement is flanked by a groove between the guitar and percussion that harks back to my days as a rock guitarist.

More work by Robert Lunn.