for mixed sextet (trumpet, violin, viola, harp, percussion and live electronics). Commissioned by Turning Point Ensemble, Vancouver.
Vaporwave happened with me mostly not noticing. I was distracted; its fumes flowed cleanly above my age grade. A generation younger than mine vicariously nostalgic for my generation’s nostalgias. But more important than the nostalgia is the deliberate capture, reframing and recontextualising (as elsewhere), from pattern recognition to mistranslation – the emergent loss a gain. This turning wheel is as warm as it is well worn. So minus the nostalgia, the strategy spread and adapted across all layers and stages: play a (harp), work with its recording and make a score for a performer to interpret the sculpted edit. Sample in real-time as they do so and, with a hopeful frown, orchestrate an interpretable future.
Alejandro Jodorowsky’s voice is earnestly rebuilt, under my spoiling ear, by a voice cloning neural network. In the source audio, Alejandro spoke in English with an accent (not dissimilar to mine), “I think to be alive is weir(d)!”. The network, however, like most, is trained in U.S.-ian. An impossible, unimaginable and unnatural capture of these two nodes battling in mid-air. Neither one nor the other, nor truly capable of articulating discrete language, there is something surprisingly tender about these resulting voices – speakers getting lost in expressive noise tangents or stuck tirelessly attempting to pronounce a diphthong – their mannerisms weaving sensations at the brink of comprehension.
425: un mar de leche en el que todos los navegantes son náufragos (C.J. Cela, Oficio de tinieblas 5)
Marcus Goddard, trumpet, sampler, tremolos / Marc Destrube, violin / Rebecca Wenham, cello / Janelle Nadeau, harp and electronic sustain pedal / Jonathan Bernard, percussion / MP, live electronics / Owen Underhill, conductor / Alex Abahmed, assistant to MP / James Perella, recording engineer / MP, edit and mix / Murat Çolak, mastering / Recorded at the Chan Centre, Vancouver, BC.