Strain is based almost entirely upon recorded speech. I chose to camouflage and obscure this material for a number of reasons - not least because I wasn't willing to listen to recordings of my own voice over and over again while working on the piece. If the texts leave only indirect traces of their presence, they animate the music nevertheless, creating the rhythmic structures and sonorities of the composition.
Strain uses its four loudspeakers as a quartet of voices, producing a coherent sense of ensemble. An artificial space is not a goal of the piece, and there is no panning or reverberation of any kind. The loudspeakers are in no way "humanized" through this procedure, but I feel that their material presence becomes an explicit feature of the piece. Chris Burns
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