Music 120Z: etude #4 - narrative
Write a short composition which presents a narrative.
You may use any available source materials for this assignment, and record new materials in the lab. (Presumably the "audio scavenger hunt" materials will be particularly useful).
Work in stereo (the source materials are each split into two files -- the left and right channels).
Your composition may be as short as 30 seconds or as long as a few minutes.
Possibilities & models:
One approach is to sequence sounds in the spirit of a Foley artist for film; putting together sounds which suggest a series of actions or events. (I understand this to be the strategy of Gobeil's Nuit Cendre, though the narrative seems more impressionistic than specific). Continuing with the film analogy, you might also employ sounds which take up the role of the soundtrack -- that is, as commentary on the more specifically semantic events.
Another approach is to present and set a text (the strategy of Annette Vande Gorne's Le Gingko, and also the tradition of Western art-song). The text may be read or sung, found or recorded specifically for the project, manipulated or presented in a straightforward manner. Musical accompaniment might include concrete illustrations of sounds or events referenced in the text ("word painting") or might be oriented towards depicting the mood and atmosphere of the text.
A third possibility (suggested by Francis Dhomont's Points de Fuite) is to combine referential sounds in a metaphorical way. The intention here is not to tell a specific story, but rather to create a more conceptual or impressionistic work. (If the first approach involves depicting waking life, this approach might be understood as depicting dreams).
Clarity: how specific of an impression can your narrative convey?
Materials: look for opportunities to overlap different recordings or to construct transitions between recordings (through DSP, mixing, and the alignment of sonically related materials).
Durations: are the durations of materials musically convincing, and are they narratively believable?
Burn your final draft onto an audio CD; please label it with your name and the assignment number.
Submit your etude in class on Monday, October 27th, 2003.
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