Terrane

for dust, soprano, and electronics
voice: Nava Hemyari



Terrane is a duo for a vocalist and a sonically magnified microscopic world. The piece is based on noises obtained from a vinyl record, one whole side of which had silence recorded on it. Over the period of over 20 years it accumulated dust, scratches, sand from the Black Sea shore — an array of layered micro-mechanical accidents. Together with the initial blank vinyl grooves this has formed a sort of a micro-terrain, a tiny world where these impacts have settled down. This vision is partly related to the fantastically rich microscopic images of the vinyl grooves, reminding those of the astronomical bodies’ surfaces.


For this piece the vinyl record provides a flow of crackling noise (the side has a playtime of 27 min. at 33 1 ⁄ 3 rpm , limited to 12 min. for the piece), which then goes through a tape echo, and a computer for the spectral and spatial processing to grasp the ultra-short (few ms) noises and build a prolonged time-domain for them, opening these frequencies to the ear as musical tones and percussive patterns. This chain of the three generations of sound-carrying mediums (vinyl–tape–digital) acts as a sonic-microscope to magnify and make this non-musical material audible, so a speck of dust, a grain of sand or a small scratch become beats and tones. The performer goes on a journey into this micro-world, finding her way and means of communication with the thousands of tiny particles.


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