About the piece
This three minute tape piece is based on the idea of conversation or interview. All the material, with the exception of the percussion sounds are derived from the voice. Using computerized signal analysis, aspects of the voice or texts, which are articulated by the voice, are transformed and/or resynthesized (reconstructed). The texts used in the piece are invented texts, chosen for their onomatopoetic tendencies; these texts are based on nonsense (non-representation), and are formally presented in the context of a dialog, functioning musically (or sonically) rather than semantically.
The sound material in this piece includes synthetic sounds and acoustic sounds (voice and percussion). These acoustic sounds are first analyzed and then transformed to varying degrees via signal processing. From the analyses, control signals are derived for FM synthesis and signal processing. The signal processing includes phase-vocoder analysis and resynthesis, direction and speed-change sampling, complex gating, harmonizing, flanging, reverb, etc... The signal analysis consists of pitch and envelope followers. The above, when hooked together, allows for a given input signal to modify itself in terms of its signal processing and synthetic accompaniment. Thus, a signal's behavior determines to a large extent its subsequent timbral transformations.
This piece was realized in the studios of IRCAM during the summer of 1990.
-Zack Settel 1990