FERGAL DOWLING – COMPOSER
2004, for fixed media surround sound, 13'04"
Rise is a periphonic (3D) sound projection constructed with noisy impulses ranging from swarm-like points to slow rhythmic explosions. In constant motion, these clouds weave through one and other, approach or recede, enveloping the listener, or dissolving into granular distributions, and ultimately revealing a counterpoint through spatial means. The piece describes a periphonic sound-space shrouded by discrete grains of sound. This technique of spatial granularisation allows the listener can hear ‘through’ the sound field and so perceive multiple, simultaneous, spatially separated clouds, or fields of grains.
Three distinct musical parts operate on different time-scales ranging from the micro time-scale up to the macro level, and are distinguished by their spatial definition; whether moving, fixed, localised or diffuse. Rise makes special idiomatic use of the height element in sound perception. While neither the composed material expresses no particular right–left or front–rear orientation, it unambiguously defines a vertical alignment.
The grains are composed from recordings of public fountains. I work by defining the arrangement of sound grains in space and time. Then the samples are edited and disposed in an semi-automated procedure in which audio effects and processes – such as filtering, time scaling, amplitude scaling, panning, and reverberation – are all defined as functions of the spatial disposition of each sound-grain. While the surface texture appears noisy, haphazard and chaotic, the formal internal character of the piece is determined in detail.