Deconstructing Dowland (2008-2009)

For guitar and interactive live electronics

John Dowland's song Can she excuse my wrongs? was published in 1597 in the First Book of Songs. The song is in the form of a galliard that we find as both consort setting and as three galliards for lute solo. Taken together, these lute pieces may give an idea of Dowland's art of extemporization. In 2003 Barrett began work on a live electronics composition for guitarist Stefan Ostersjo. This composition, Where shadows do for bodies stand takes as its starting point Dowland's Can she excuse my wrongs?. The electroacoustic medium provided a means to connect antique music to a new aesthetic of sound-surrealism that dually serves to expand the guitar's quiet and intimate sonority. Dragging the antique into the modern even further, deconstruction of the three galliards was the source of Deconstructing Dowland. Deconstruction can be a process of dismantling to create something new; a transgression, a disruption, a shifting of meaning from the inside out. Deconstructing Dowland was commissioned by Stefan Ostersjo with funds from the Norwegian Fond for lyd og bilde.

Deconstructing Dowland requires an Intel Mac (min 2Ghz processor), MaxMSP, microphones, a multi-channel computer sound interface and a loudspeaker system.