Electronics 2012 Day 1: Louise Rossiter

A new year and a new set of participants for our Electronics Project. This year we've set up home for 3 days in Eastgate Theatre, Peebles, where we're a resident ensemble for 2012. It's a wonderful space to spend a few days, with a beautiful run out through the countryside from Edinburgh, a warm welcome from the staff when we get there and a great cafe offering cakes, soup and even toasted crumpets for our mid-afternoon break.

But back to the music... This year we also welcome two new project leaders: composer Pippa Murphy and sound engineer/producer Ben Seal. Ben is a regular with the group, and is often found at the sound desk at our gigs, or assisting on our recordings with Delphian. This is the first time we've worked with Pippa but many of the musicians already know her well, and with her excellent reputation as a workshop leader and composer we feel very lucky to have her.

Some things have changed and some things stay the same - as well as welcoming Ben and Pippa, Rosenna East also replaces Robert, who is still on sabbatical in Chile. But just like last year, we plan to document the process day by day, and we'll be uploading blogs from each of the musicians, the composers, Pippa and Ben, giving you their thoughts on the process. As well as uploading the scores and sound files of each of the works. It's very much an exploratory process - the workshops are designed to give the composers the opportunity to play around with their pieces - so the end result often departs some way from the original plan.

Louise Rossiter is first in the hot seat this week. Louise completed her undergraduate music degree at the University of Aberdeen, specialising in Acousmatic composition, under the supervision of Pete Stollery. Louise has since begun the MMus (composition) course at the University of Edinburgh under the supervision of Robert Dow. She is also a founding member of Edit-Point - a group dedicated to the performance and dissemination of electroacoustic music. Louise’s research interests lie in acousmatic sound, acoustic ecology and sound perception. She submitted Out of the woodwork for the workshops.

Out of the woodwork

Louise writes:
Out of the Woodwork (idiom): alluding to insects crawling out of the interior wooden fittings of a house, such as baseboards and moldings. In life: Secrets or news emerging from obscurity or a place of seclusion...

Out of the Woodwork is a work for quartet (violin, viola, cello and bass), and live electronics. It also has a tape part. The tape part uses branches as its source material. When I composed the work, I aimed for the players to blend into the electronics as much as possible. As I tend to focus on sound rather than melody when I compose, I use a number of extended techniques for string instruments which are then enhanced by electronics.

In order to keep the piece as flexible as possible, I wrote the work so that the tape element will ‘drop in’ rather than being time based and all the processing of the instruments is done live in realtime using a DAW and plugins. The main processes used are tape delays, GRM Delays, GRM Shuffle and GRM Comb Filters.

The live processing allows for flexibility within a live performance. The piece can be performed on either acoustic or electric instruments. It will work equally well on both.

String-and-tapev.1.pdf (Adobe PDF - 155Kb)

Louise Rossiter


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