» Electroacoustic

Electroacoustic

Three Fates (2019)

double guitar orchestra and electroacoustic track
12 min. 

Three Fates takes its title from a painting by 20th century surrealist artist, Remedios Varo, and refers to three goddesses from Greek mythology: one was the spinner of the cloth, one was the weaver, and the third one would cut the cloth—the cloth being symbolic of a human life. Together, the three goddesses represented destiny. Musically, the piece was inspired by several different sources: bell ringing (change patterns), medieval plainchant, sitar music, specifically Raag Bhairavi (a scale similar to the Phrygian mode), and something in the vein of psychedelic guitar music. There is one short musical phrase quoted from “Haec Dies”, which appears toward the end of Three Fates, borrowed from 12th century composer, Leoninus. “Haec Dies” was apparently one of the very earliest written manuscripts in Europe, and was preserved at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I was led to discover this music, since the fire at Notre Dame was in the news (April 15-16th), just as I was beginning to work on this piece. There are also bells appearing in the soundscape at the beginning and end of Three Fates, recorded at Holy Rosary Cathedral in Vancouver.

Elizabeth Knudson was the 2019 winner of the Canadian Music Centre’s national “Creation Prize”, and Three Fates was commissioned through the CMC (Toronto), for premiere on August 24th, 2019, at Dominion-Chalmers United Church, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, as part of the International 21st Century Guitar Conference, hosted by the University of Ottawa.

Three Fates- premiere performance (click image above, to view on YouTube)


Sheet music is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

(sheet music link to come soon)

Dear Nora (2016)

solo cello and stereo electroacoustic track
6 min.

When I came across a letter penned by Irish writer James Joyce in the summer of 1904 (22 years old at the time) to his future wife, Nora Barnacle, whom he had just met– I fell in love with these words. I think they express the tender uncertainty of new love so perfectly—something many of us have felt, but few of us could articulate so clearly. This piece was composed for solo cello and stereo electroacoustic track, with Joyce’s text read by Vancouver-based author, Fraser Nixon.

Dear Nora was premiered at the Western Front, Vancouver, Canada, on March 18th, 2017, as part of the Sonic Boom Festival.

– – –

“15 August, 1904

My dear Nora,

It has just struck me. I came in at half past eleven. Since then I have been sitting in an easy chair like a fool. I could do nothing. I hear nothing but your voice. I am like a fool hearing you call me ‘Dear.’ I offended two men today by leaving them coolly. I wanted to hear your voice, not theirs.

When I am with you I leave aside my contemptuous, suspicious nature. I wish I felt your head on my shoulder. I think I will go to bed.

I have been a half-hour writing this thing. Will you write something to me? I hope you will. How am I to sign myself? I won’t sign anything at all, because I don’t know what to sign myself.”

– – –

Sheet music for this piece is available through the Canadian Music Centre:

http://musiccentre.ca/node/37862/sheet_music

 

A Cellist on the Skytrain (2004)

stereo tape

4 min. 59 sec.

“A Cellist on the Skytrain” was composed in 2004, while I was an undergraduate student at Simon Fraser University. Being a music student, and a cellist, I would often have to lug my cello to school (on the SFU campus at Burnaby Mountain), a journey which involved two bus connections and a skytrain. I have always been fascinated with the musicality of Vancouver’s skytrains — the audible glissandi, the harmonic overtones, and the rhythmic motion of the trains were all things I could relate to as a string player. The piece is simply a field recording taken of one such journey to school, with a superimposed cello counterpoint.

 

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Recipe (2003)

8-channel tape (and optional video)

11 min. 50 sec.

As is the case with composers or individuals in any creative field, there are those who like to “do things by the book”, and those who prefer to improvise. But what happens when a spontaneous thespian-turned-chef with a flair for the absurd meets his match in a classic cookbook’s recipe for a vegetable stew? A duel of saxophones and kitchen sounds tells the tale…

The recipe quotations in this piece were all taken from a veritable vintage cookbook. The chef’s rants, however, were completely ad lib, courtesy of Clint Enns (note: not a “real” chef nor a “real” thespian). Sax sounds were also improvised, courtesy of the composer. No vegetables were seriously harmed in the creation of this piece.

 

 

 

 

http://derek.trideja.com/media/recipe.php

 

String Games (2002)

stereo tape

5 min. 20 sec.

String Games is a stereo electroacoustic piece, composed using live recorded cello sounds as its only sound source. The sounds were manipulated digitally in various ways, including echo, pitch shifting, reverb, ring modulation, and filtering.

String Games has been performed at the Vancouver Art Gallery, and Simon Fraser University Theatre, Burnaby, BC, Canada (2002).

 

 

Type A (2002)

stereo tape

5 min. 35 sec.

Type A is a stereo electroacoustic sound-object piece, which was composed using only two sound sources: a long, hollow plastic tube and an old-fashioned typewriter. It was realized using both analog and digital studio equipment. The sounds were processed in many different ways, including (analog) tape loops, pitch shifting, filtering, echo, reverb, and granulation.

 

 

 

A Volkswagen’s Trip (2002)

stereo tape

11 min. 50 sec.

This piece tells the tale, both through sounds and words, about some of the unique adventures I had with my first car, a beloved 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit hatchback (which I owned from 2000-2013).