Commission: Ensemble Sospeso, in honor of the 80th birthday of Pierre Boulez
Premiere: May 10, 2005, Carnegie - Zankle Hall, New York City
Length: 7 minutes
Instrumentation: flute, oboe, violin, cello, 2 percussion, 2 keyboards, real-time audio signal processing and spatialization
audio/video of a performance by Stephen Drury and the Callithumpian Consort
Audio (.wav file) from New World CD
dsp cue list
***please note*** documentation of signal processing is very preliminary - more to come soon
Résonateur was commissioned in 2006 by the Ensemble Sospeso for a concert in New York in honor of the 80th Birthday of Pierre Boulez. The word resonator refers to "the intensification and enriching of a musical tone...." I think a lot about resonance these days because of the way I derive harmonies from the overtone series, and because of things I have been doing with digital signal processing. But the resonator (or Résonateur) I was referring to here was Boulez, and all he has done as a composer, conductor, and entrepreneur.
The keyboards control sample players to simulate various plucked and struck instruments, with a computer deployed to dynamically retune the samples in a just relationship to the fundamental frequency of each phrase. Real-time audio signal processing is deployed on all of the other instruments for spatialization, resonance, reverberation, delay, and just-tuned harmonizing.
The piece also passes around the role of provocateur, with one instrument - violin, cor anglais, or flute proposing material that then resonates throughout the ensemble, with each section framed by the ringing changes of the keyboards and percussion.