For the 60st anniversary of Edgar Varèse’s Poème Électronique the Van Abbehuis in collaboration with MAD Emergent art centre in Eindhoven, The Netherlands, commissioned me to write a tribute piece to accompany their exhibition about the world’s first mixed-media installation, for the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair in 1958.
Varèsotto, Hinterland of Varèse
Varèsotto, Hinterland of Varèse (2018)
for field instruments, sound processing and orchestra
This work features field instruments I made of the sonically rich calls by wren and of human voices mimicking wildlife calls, performed by Kammerkór Sudurlands (more below).
Varèsotto is an orchestral work with dedicated virtual instruments as a member of its performing musicians, not only in software, but also in its performing body, the hardware.
The field instruments in this piece don’t perform on a midi keyboard, I’ve made custom controllers that a performer can play, following their part in the score the conventional way.
Varèsotto takes you to the hinterland of Edgard Varèse’s sound poetry Poème Électronique, the world’s first mixed-media
installation, for the Philips Pavilion at the Brussels World Fair in 1958.
In 2018 MAD arts organisation commissioned me to write a tribute to commemorate the 60th anniversary of this mixed media work by the Van Abbehuis in Eindhoven, NL.
In Varèsotto the field instruments populate a wide orchestral landscape with tiny, detailed sounds that come into focus as your eye wanders through the landscape.
The album Five Thoughts on Everything features this work, see store.
Order Varèsotto, Hinterland of Varèse score at Donemus / email
Field instruments are software instruments made from field recordings that are programmed in such a way they function similar to a natural sound, they are not a static ‘phrase’ or ‘tape loop’. The tree will keep rustling, the same, while always slightly different. The blackbird will keep singing, or not, as they do. The wind will keep its mercurial texture.
Due to the nature of the programming of these field instruments they don’t perform on a standard keyboard. Dedicated hardware is designed to play the field instrument for recording purposes of the composition or its live performance.