constant ‘winding and unwinding of our lives is like the ebb and
flow of tide’ (Susan Haire), the individual working within and
exploring the ever changing world – taking directions with many
crossroads and turning points along the way. The sea as a metaphor for
the winding paths of life provided the point of departure for the work.
Sea Change presents an exploration of this theme through 3 woodwind
duets interposed with ‘turning points’ for the full ensemble
that initiate changes of direction and new impetus for exploration.
The ever-changing form of the sea is reflected in the through composition
of the work. The melodic and harmonic material was created from a wave-like
note series, developed rhythmically within a tempo which is maintained
throughout the work. New possibilities emerge within the framework of
pitch and rhythm established at the outset, with the full energy of
the woodwind steadily emerging as it draws on the power of the sea.
spatial design is an essential element in the exploration of the sea
change and uses seven speakers with which to distribute sound. Spatialised
sea sound makes connection with the acoustic instruments through its
spatial movement and in its projection through the piano; live spatial
positioning provides the sense of chance implicit within a sea change,
and the studio treatment of the sea sound reinforces its metaphoric
meaning within the work. The ever-changing form of the soundspace is
created through the spatial processing of both the sea sound and acoustic
instruments. The woodwind is initially immersed within the acoustic
of the sea sound drawing from its energy, but gradually develops a confidence
and life of its own.
The processed sea sound recordings were mostly recorded at Tankerton
Slopes in Kent, with recorded and live sound spatialised using IRCAM’s
Spatialisateur computer software. The Spatialisateur models the changing
interaction of a sound positioned in a defined acoustic space, and allows
much flexibility for the direction and positioning of sound –
so creating an enveloping soundspace within which to explore the Sea Change.