A Disembodied Voice In [5.1 Surround Sound Radio] Space

Colin Black

Thursday, 29th April, from 3.30pm-5.30pm

Bon Marche Studio (Bldg. 3, Lvl. 1, Rm. 105)

Performance: 10mins.

A Disembodied Voice In [5.1 Surround Sound Radio] Space
(programme duration 7 minutes, could be set on loop playback)
By Colin Black

The theme of radio and the voices of the dead – or spirits – have emerged time and time again within radio works, but very little radio art work has been developed that utilises 5.1 surround sound production and broadcast techniques.  With this work I artistically explore the idea of “A Disembodied Voice In Space,” within the added space or dimension of 5.1 surround sound, as opposed to the monophonic or stereophonic “acoustic frame” that has been chiefly used to date.  The work creates an immersive sonic environment that takes the listener inside its constructed sonic world, where the disembodied voice thematically develops the notion of the formless body and instantaneous travel via thought and desire.

Text, musical composition and sound effects (including location sound recordings) are given equal weighting within A Disembodied Voice In [5.1 Surround Sound Radio] Space. The work’s sound world is an aural space that is both influenced by reality and distorted by the idea of the spirit world; to achieve this pluralistic aural space the work’s sonority was created by blending techniques from both electroacoustic music and musique concrète.

An important aspect of A Disembodied Voice In [5.1 Surround Sound Radio] Space was to create a surreal sound world, and this was achieved by taking audio recordings relevant to the project and processing/filtering them to create electroacoustic music for the new work. A range of filters where employed including: spectral processing effects, granular, phase, delay and convolution reverb.

While the location recordings may be encoded with natural sounds, when these recordings are treated and/or juxtaposed with the electroacoustic music, the resulting balance helps to form the work’s pluralistic sound world that is a confluence between this world and another.

Internationally acclaimed composer/sound artist Colin Black won the prestigious Prix Italia Award (2003) in the category Best “Music Radio – Composed Work” for composing and producing his major work The Ears Outside My Listening Room.  BBC Radio 3 described this work as “a haunting evocation of Australia”, while the Prix Italia Award’s International Jury Report states that it, “… lived up to the claim ‚” that here was a patchwork sonic quilt that can be passed down the generations.”

For more information see www.colinblack.com.au

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