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

I think it is interesting how sound relates to its dynamic real-world system. Through investigating this relationship I hope to form a tighter bond between sound and the way it lives in the composition. The investigation often involves observation or modelling of the real-world context as it unfolds through time. In Reality and Secrets no. 2 I studied the spatial activity of my chosen sources in their original context and experimented with how these dynamic systems could be used to guide sound transformation, spatial activity and temporal structures in the composition. Our everyday world is a hive of interesting spatial information. In acousmatic music we often use acoustic source material, recorded with various microphone techniques, capturing a specific spatial listening point. But in our normal day we perceive spatial information with many senses: most prominently with our ears and eyes, but also via touch and olfactory senses. Although spatial information is maybe most immediate for our hearing, visual cues can clarify a source's distance, its speed and direction, especially when multiple sources are in interaction. Touch and physical contact also yield spatial information too fine for our eyes or ears to decode, even if we are able to hear or see a change in behaviour of some undefined kind.

In Reality and Secrets no. 2 I chose two main contrasting source materials: children sledging downhill and cellist Tanja Orning performing various materials. 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, video and physical motion capture 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. 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

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