Lieux imaginaires (Download) Track Listing Detail

Automatopoiea: Study 1

Steven Naylor

  • Year of composition: 2006
  • Duration: 9:34
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

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Automatopoiea is a series of studies developed from the sounds of mechanical toys, or automata, built by designer-maker Tony Mann, an artist based in Devon (UK). Mann’s clever, kinetic pieces incorporate cast-off mechanical and electro-mechanical materials, chosen from a vast aggregation that spills beyond his studio and into a nearby barn. Each study in this series focuses upon the sonic idiosyncrasies of several of Tony Mann’s automata. The result ranges from the delicate highlighting of details to rampant commotion. This study explores sounds produced by Aviator, Captain Webb, and Ratchet-Bird.

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Automatopoiea: Study 1 was realized in 2005 at the composer’s studio in Nova Scotia (Canada) and in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK). The work premiered on March 17, 2006 during the “Voyages sonores” concerts produced by BEAST at the CBSO Centre (Birmingham, UK). The work has also been presented in Harvest Moon (Montréal) in 2006, and the Toronto Electroacoustic Symposium in 2011. The composer acknowledges financial support from the Nova Scotia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) during the creation of this work.


Premiere

  • March 17, 2006, Voyages sonores, CBSO Centre, Birmingham (England, UK)

Bitter Orchids

Steven Naylor

  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration: 11:17
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

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I recorded most of the source materials for this piece in Chiang Mai, northern Thailand, in 1990, using an analogue ‘Walkman.’ During that trip, I spent several memorable evenings in the company of hospitable vendors in the Lanna Market section of the Chiang Mai night market, recording private music lessons and performances. My attempts to record were constantly interrupted by small motorcycles weaving noisily down the tight corridors of the covered market. At the time, I thought of them as intrusions upon my earnest attempts to make some kind of naïve ethnomusicological record, but I later understood and accepted their sonic presence as one of the fascinating contradictions peacefully cohabiting in this complex place. The piece is made from a combination of unaltered events and radical processings or extrusions of the original recordings, in which the key elements — voices, instruments, and motorcycles — merge and transform. The artistic goal was to interweave these materials to create a sonic fabric like the irregularly constructed gauze of memory and consciousness — events occasionally emerging in sharp relief, but more often blurring, lingering enticingly in the perceptual shadows.

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Bitter Orchids was realized in 2000 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK) and premiered on December 9, 2000 during the MET Concert Series at Ball State University in Muncie (Indiana, USA). The work has also been presented in SEAMUS 2002 (Iowa City, IA, USA), BEAST: 20/20 re:Vision (Birmingham), and BIMESP Electroacoustic Biennial (São Paulo) in 2002, and in other events in Canada. The composer acknowledges financial support from the Nova Scotia Arts Council during the creation of this work.


Premiere

  • December 9, 2000, MET Concert Series, Sursa Performance Hall — Ball State University, Muncie (Indiana, USA)

I wish

Steven Naylor

  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration: 9:47
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

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I wish is a musical portrait of an inner space, in which unattainable longings, ambiguous desires, and persistent fears jostle for position. The piece was constructed from a few vocal and instrumental fragments taken from a simple song of lament titled Home, performed by Rita Rankin, which I composed several years earlier.

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I wish was realized in 2000 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK) and premiered on November 10, 2001 during the “Novars” concert produced by BEAST at the CBSO Centre (Birmingham, UK). The work has also been presented in SEAMUS 2001 (Baton Rouge, LA, USA), and BEAST: Spatial Awareness (Birmingham) in 2003, and in other events in Canada. The composer acknowledges financial support from the Nova Scotia Arts Council during the creation of this work.


Premiere

  • November 10, 2001, Novars: BEAST Concert 3, CBSO Centre, Birmingham (England, UK)

Irrashaimase

Steven Naylor

  • Year of composition: 2000
  • Duration: 8:15
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

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Irrashaimase is an interior monologue or meditation on sounds of urban Japan: robotic, repetitive, and chaotic, but also — to my ears — elegant, delicate and musical. Its construction parallels the way our imaginations reshape and elaborate memories, often making of them much more — but sometimes much less — than the experiences that created them. I recorded most of the materials for this piece in Japan in 1990, on an analogue ‘Walkman.’ During subsequent trips to Japan, in 2000 and ’02, I returned to many of the original locations, and noted that most of my chosen materials were effectively long-term ‘soundmarks’ for those locations, not the transitory phenomena I had expected. Through that knowledge, I came to realise that the piece is as much a sonic, cultural portrait of a place as it is a mnemonic of personal experience.

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Irrashaimase was realized in 2000 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK) and the composer’s studio in Nova Scotia (Canada), and premiered on February 6, 2000 during the “Aural Kinetics” concert series produced by BEAST at the Midlands Arts Centre in Birmingham. The work has also been presented in BEAST: De Natura Sonorum (Birmingham) in 2004, and in other events in Canada. The composer acknowledges financial support from the Nova Scotia Arts Council during the creation of this work.


Premiere

  • February 6, 2000, Aural Kinetics, Foyle Studio — Midlands Arts Centre, Birmingham (England, UK)

kune kune

Steven Naylor

  • Year of composition: 2004
  • Duration: 4:17
  • Instrumentation: fixed medium

Stereo

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kune kune is a short sonic exploration, based largely upon the vocalisations of an inquisitive pair of New Zealand Kunekune pigs, recorded near Bath (England, UK).

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kune kune was realized in 2003 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK) and the composer’s studio in Nova Scotia (Canada), and premiered on March 8, 2003 during the 20th anniversary concerts of the Birmingham Electroacoustic Sound Theatre (BEAST) “20/20 Re:Vision” at the CBSO Centre (Birmingham, UK). The work has also been broadcast in Musica Nova (Czech Republic) in 2005, and performed in other events in Canada. The composer acknowledges financial support from the Nova Scotia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) during the creation of this work.


Premiere

  • March 8, 2003, 20/20 Re:Vision: Present, Concert 1, CBSO Centre, Birmingham (England, UK)

The Thermal Properties of Concrete

Steven Naylor

  • Year of composition: 2006
  • Duration: 27:03
  • Instrumentation: 8-channel fixed medium

Stereo

  • AAC, 320 kbps
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The Thermal Properties of Concrete is an intensely personal work, and yet it has almost nothing to do with me. I conceived it, I made it, and I chose to present it, but it invokes a world that I have never experienced, and never wish to. It is not a political work, nor is it a social commentary; it is simply my response as an artist to what I see. I am indebted to three people whose voices populate the piece: Jody Stevens, who performs the fictitious narrator-character at the centre of the work; and two senior staff members of the Planning Department of the City of Halifax (NS, Canada). The latter two chose not to be identified by name, but their thoughtful comments shed light on the complexity of making the urban built environment a place suitable for all residents, including those without an address. Clearly, I also owe a debt of inspiration to the late Glenn Gould, whose polyphonic radio pieces, beginning with The Idea of North in 1967, helped redefine “the idea of music” for many Canadian listeners, myself included.

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The Thermal Properties of Concrete was realized in 2006 in the Electroacoustic Music Studios of the University of Birmingham (UK) and the composer’s studio in Nova Scotia (Canada), and premiered on March 4, 2007 during the Invisible Art concert series produced by BEAST at the CBSO Centre (Birmingham, UK). The work was selected for presentation in Phonurgia Nova in Arles, France (2007) and ISCM World New Music Days/Aurora Festival in Sydney, Australia (2010), and has also been performed several times in Canada. The composer acknowledges financial support from the Nova Scotia Arts Council and the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) during the creation of this work.


Premiere

  • March 4, 2007, Invisible Art — Concert 5, CBSO Centre, Birmingham (England, UK)

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