Spin and Spin 2 for violin and live sound processing
Context and Aims
The use of 'Spin' in the titles is intended to suggest reference to spinning wheels used in games of chance and contemporary DJ production techniques and these are explored in the form of the aleatoric process involved in the ordering of the four main sections of the piece and in the ‘remixing’ of gestures from classic 20th and 21st century solo violin repertoire. The live electronics for 'Spin 2' were created during Covid lockdown necessitating composer and performer to investigate videoconferencing technologies for creative collaboration and remote live processing.
Methodologies and Findings
The order of performance of the four main sections is decided by using a ‘Spinning Wheel’ app. Borrowed gestures (Bartók, Boulez, Carter, Xenakis, Zorn) are ‘remixed’ throughout, however harmonic coherence is provided by filtering the pitch material of the gestures through permutations of the all interval tetrachords (0,1,4,6 and 0,1,3,7). The gestures are transformed and notated in ways to provide scope for improvisation. The live sound processing in 'Spin 2' enhances and expands the notated material in terms of colour, timbre and harmonic palette, drawing on spectral and granular synthesis techniques encountered in Anthèmes 2, here explored in Live and Max patches. The patches were designed to facilitate greater freedom in improvising with parameters of the live electronic processing. Ultra low latency solutions were developed using Skype TX (explored previously in a 'NonZeroSum' networked performance) to facilitate remote real time processing.
'Spin' (2015) performed by Darragh Morgan in Great Hall, Derry, UK 29 September 2015; Riverstown Hall, Maynooth, Ireland, 1 October 2015; Spectrum, New York City, US, 26 February 2017; FIU, Miami, US, 2 March 2017. 'Spin 2' (2020) premiered by Darragh Morgan and the composer on YouTube 23 December 2020.