Reality and Secrets no.2 (2010) 18'14

I think it is interesting how a recorded sound relates to its animated and dynamic real-world context. In investigating this relationship I hope to form a tighter bond between sound and the way it lives in the composition.

My investigations in 'Reality and Secrets no.2' have involved both observation and modelling of the sound 'in context' as it unfolds through time. I studied dynamic changes in the sound's space and timbre, and experimented with how this information could be used to guide sound transformation and create temporal structures in the composition.

In Reality and Secrets no. 2 I chose two main contrasting source materials: children sledging downhill and cellist Tanja Orning performing various sounds based on compositional sketches. In choosing these sources I was interested in contrasts of intimacy, proximity, spatial scales and dynamics, and the differences between an outdoor scene and a more controlled indoor situation.

Audio-scene spatial analysis, and video and motion tracking were used to capture spatial information from these sources. These data controlled sound spatialisation and sound transformation in the music.

The composition is spatialised in 1st and 5th order ambisonics, originally as four layers of 2-D spatialisation distributed vertically, and one full 3-D layer. The version played tonight is the premier of a new full 3-D version.

Special thanks to Alexander Refsum Jensenius at the Institute for Musicology, University of Oslo (motion capture system), cellist Tanja Orning (sound and performed motion sources) and The Institute of Electronic Music and Acoustics, Graz (testing and presentation of the first version of the work over their hemispherical concert loudspeaker array).

Reality and Secrets no. 2 was commission by NOTAM with funds from the Norwegian Composer's Fund.

Binaural version (headphones only) in mp3

Technical information