UTOO, Composition for Chamber Ensemble and Sound Projection, 2004







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Composition for Chamber Ensemble and Sound Projection, 2004


The structural basis of UTOO is a "field recording" of a subway ride on Berlin's subway line U2. I transcribed specific frequencies and sonic textures within this recording, such as screeching, rumbling, signal tones, loudspeaker announcements, opening and closing doors, and asked the performers to resonate with them. Throughout the rehearsal process, we searched for corresponding sound colours, within the realms of instruments and playing techniques. In quasi-improvisational run-thoughs, I experimented with various sound combinations of the instrumental sounds and the underlying field recording and subsequently determined the ultimate structural flow of UTOO. The nature of the subway recording not only provided the formal disposition of the piece - the subway ride from one station to the next also suggested sections of different dynamic and instrumental properties, e.g. a solo percussion part, a trio and a quartet section. Some subway stops within the recording also served another function: they were transformed into "frozen" moments - intermissions where the flow of the underlying recording was interrupted, creating a quasi-static sound field - those "breaks" were cued in and out by Ensemble Noamnesia's conductress, Rei Hotoda.

Bernhard Gal, 2004

FP: Ensemble Noamnesia (Fl, B-Cl, Perc, Vla, Vc, Db), conductor: Rei Hotoda
Sound Field Festival 2004 - Renaissance Society, Chicago, October 2004

Ensemble Noamnesia:
Lisa Goethe (fl), Gene Coleman (b-cl), Michael Zerang (perc),
Michael Hall (vla), Marina Petterson (vc), Michael Cameron (db)

Published as part of the CD same difference, Gromoga Records, 2010.
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