Anagram for tenor and electronics - Premier the Old Customs House, Tampere

with Film by Michael Lynch

Anagram is a follow-up project to Being Dufay and premièred at the Old Customs House, Tampere vocal festival in 2013. The work explores different ways of using pre-existing text to that within Being Dufay, searching for what I’ll term the minimum trace: enough material to make a link to a pre-existing work, yet not so much that the piece overtly borrows.

In Being Dufay, the approach to pre-existing music is to present it exactly as is, without hybridisation or attempts at cross-over. Editing is the sole compositional tool, and in the 50 minutes of the album, there is a sum-total of 6 minutes end-to-end Dufay. There are no substantive changes to the notes, or to the words.

In Anagram the text is from a song by Gombert. I wanted to capture something of Gombert’s approach to polyphony where a unique line often sits above a swirling texture of intricately layered material. Towards the end of the piece, I’m trying a new version of an old vocoder effect. Vocoders have been around since the 1960s, enabling electronic textures to take on vocal qualities. What results, is a set of static harmonies based on the sounds being input. This version is a little different as it bends the input sounds towards the voice.

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